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............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cross Stitch Magazines Plus a WIP

I have some magazines from the 1980s and a few earlier ones wondering if I should keep them? I probably have not looked at them since I got them! Are they worth moving to Arizona? Off to Goodwill?
What do you think?
Here is my current WIP. It is Snowcrystal Tree (c) 2010 Nancy Buhl - From Nancy's Needle. My Columbine ANG. Chapter project for September & October.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


It is quite likely we will move to Arizona when I retire. Do I need to change my blog name? Will I lose followers if I do?

Maybe I will just change the tag line from "Stitching at 5,555 ft above sea level" to something else?? And keep my blog name?
What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Halloween Stitching

My latest Halloween finish. Now to figure out how to finish finish it !! It is called Shades of Halloween (c) 2014 by Sweetheart Tree. I used 28ct Cinnamon stick Jazlyn by Zweigart. Original used a bright orange linen, but I had the cinnamon stick in my stash. It was a fun stitch but warning there are quite a few 1/4 stitches! It is approx. 5.5 inches square.

What to do next....?


Friday, August 14, 2015

Foothills EGA

Foothills EGA is working on Halloween stitching! This month we started our Stitchy Witchy Hats! A fun project with coordinating backing fabric. Then next month we will be making a beaded bracelet, a project called, Ruf, Ruf, Ruffles, it looks like a lot of fun too.

I love my Foothills group, they are such a friendly bunch of ladies and have a nice variety of projects throughout the year! If you are ever in the Denver area the first Monday of the month (the Sept day changes) you should stop in for a visit, I think you will enjoy it!!

Miss Maddie wth her "cheese please" face!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Progress on Santa

This is my progress on Libby Sturdy's Mile High Santa. A Colorado Columbine ANG project.
I just need to decide what to stitch for the background as designed or a suggested alternative.

I am also testing a blog post app to use on iPad.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Christmas in July

This is a project called Dresdon Plate that I started in 2006. It is designed by my friend Kathryn Farrago.

It was fun!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Trip to California or Dear Emily & Adam

Dear niece Emily and your new husband Adam:

Uncle Mike and I had the PLEASURE of being at your wedding! It was a wonderful, beautiful day thanks for letting us be a part of it. 

Travelling to and back was quite the adventure.

First our train from Denver to Emeryville, was 12 hours late due to storms in Iowa (tornado knocked a freight train off the tracks and two large tees on the tracks) and because engineers and conductors can only work 12 hours, they had to stop at some point and wait for a new crew.

The upside was we got to see parts of the country you would normally sleep through, such as the Great Salt Lake, Bonneville Salt Flats and some very barren country. Gives me a deeper appreciation for the pioneers who trod forward through this! But we did sleep through the best parts of the Rockies and Sierra Nevada’s.

Great Salt Lake

Lots of white sand in Nevada
We arrived Emeryville at 4:10 am and had wisely cancelled out hotel for the night where we planned to stay overnight before we caught the train south to Oxnard which left around 8:10 am.

This train trip was fairly uneventful and was quite nice once we got out of San Fran, Oakland and San Jose and into the countryside.

 Of course the best part was going along the coast line.

Our hotel in Newbury Park was VERY nice and we had a creative house keeper when it came to towels. First day we had a wash cloth “flower” on our bed. Later two love birds and a shirt and tie.

We planned to head back north on the train on Tuesday and then Wed-Thur back to Denver on the Zepher. I got a 7 am call on Monday to tell me the Denver train was cancelled with no alternative transportation. I call Amtrak and was told the next train was July 5th. Given various reasons for delay, Union Pacific track repairs, water on the track and can’t turn the trains around fast enough.

So off we went to AAA with your dad and we got plane tickets instead. Then we visited the Reagan Library. It is very nice.

Super Shuttle picks us up and off we go with a wild Russian driver to Burbank, Bob Hope Airport. Crazy/wild one handed drive! But we survived. 

We waited at the airport, discovered no real food available behind security, so I made a food run ($14 for a chicken quesadilla which we split – had I known our true arrival time home I would have gotten 2, but I jump ahead). Before we can board we are told that the plane is too heavy to take off with the high tarmac temperature and 12 people must get off. They offered $150 for volunteers and  said the plane could not take off until they got the 12. So about 45 minutes later, we board. We are sitting on board and pilot tells us there is bad weather near Denver that they may need to fly around and so they had to add more fuel which made the plane overweight with a full passenger load. We are on a Canadaiar 50 seater. She (pilot) says she has to re check the figures and comes back to tell us two more adults must get off or the plane can’t take off until then. Plane is getting hot inside, but no one budges. Then they announce will the Johnson (not real name – mostly because I don’t remember) party of four come to the gate. As the father and his three teenage & younger sons get off, I see the pilot (we are in row 3) tell them she is so sorry and looks like she means it.

So we are off (about an hour late). Not a bad flight. I took a picture of a dragon cloud (below) and we had a LOUD crying baby last 10 minutes of landing. Waited at baggage carousel 15+ minutes then noticed Burbank was no longer listed. Went to arrivals board to see if carousel had changed; no Burbank on display board. I head to baggage services to learn my bag was not put on board and was left in Burbank. Turns out not many others were either!! Sneaky way to reduce the weight I think! Forms filled out and I was told it would be delivered to our house the next day.

We head for the super shuttle pick up spot. He finally arrives after waiting 30 + minutes and we learn we are the last stop of 5. Got home at 10:15pm and had a good night’s sleep in our own bed!

On Monday, I also call the kennel to let them know we will be picking Maddie up on Wednesday, July 1 rather than on Friday, July 3. They say ok. We go to get her on the first and they are not expecting us until Friday. But they get her stuff and the internet/credit card payment system goes down. They let us have Maddie and called us later for the credit card number.  She slept a lot once home, the kennel seems to wear her out.

My bag arrived 10:17pm the next day.

I hope your travels were much smoother!! I guess we took the “hit” for odd things to happen and your wedding went smooth as glass! At least it looked perfect from the guest’s perspective.


Aunt Mary & Uncle Mike (Mac)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Carnival is Finished! UPDATE

I worked many evenings on this fun piece designed by Toni Gerdes called Carnival. I last posted about this on April 19, 2015, and finished it in less than a month. It was so much fun I did not want to put it down!!

Now to move on to another project....what will it be????
Stay tuned.

Someone asked about the threads used. I used the threads provided in the kit and as taught in class,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Carnival and a Gift for Dad

Well as you know, I am working on a gift for someone that may check out my blog, so no stitching to post the past month or so. But, I did recently take a break to take a workshop offered by my Foothills Chapter of EGA and worked on a canvas piece called Carnival by Toni Gerdes. Here is as far as I got before I started back on the gift which as a deadline. I will try for a clearer photo next time. To see the finished version, check out Toni's website. Carnival is the 8th one down (right after the Golden Petals) under two day workshops.

I also saw this cute box top kit from Mill Hill at my local needlework shop and thought it would make a nice gift for my father-in-law who has a birthday in May. This is as far as I have gotten so far.

I would be farther along but after getting all the blue and green in and started on the red, I realized I had goofed. Since this is on perforated paper and next to impossible to frog stitch (rip it, rip it) I checked my stash and had a green perforated paper. Not the same green, but I think it will work.

I think that covers it for now, I have finished the gift that I can't show you all until July, but wish I could since I could use some advice on the center... oh well.  I hope to post some more progress on the perforated paper piece and Carnival though!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shell Game

I last told you about this canvas piece here . Well since then, I got the corners done and just needed to add the shells in the middle. I finally did it! And here it is.

Shell Game by Dakota Rogers

Originally, I had planned to use different shells, but one broke in the meantime and the other one I could not get the thread to wrap around, it was too smooth! But I have a box full of shells and found two others to use. I could also attach shells in the green corners, but think I will stop here.

Shell Game is a project from the ANG Chapter Project Notebook that my ANG Chapter in Raleigh,NC started in 2006. I finished the stitching in 2011 and now the final step of attaching the shells. I think I will have it framed. It is 8 inches from top point to bottom point and 8 inches from side to side (on point).

That is about all for now. I am working on gifts so may not have a lot to report out on, but think I will try to find WIPs that are on the last step or two and get them done so I have stuff I can blog about!

Happy Day All!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Holiday Patches

This is a design by Susan T. Kerndt that the Foothills EGA canvas groups started in January 2014 as a year long project. As you see, I am a year behind having just started it!! The design is about 10 3/4 inches square and is on 18 count white mono canvas.

Holiday Patches
(c) 2007 Susan T. Kerndt
The light green thread is basting thread that I remove as I go that is marking the dividing bands. I could have drawn the lines on, but chose to baste them. Good thing too since I goofed a few times!

The fabric is from my stash and is padded and attached as instructed. It is looking like the fabric I chose will work well with the original colors so I will not have to change anything. Susan used to sell the fabric too, but has run out so you need to supply your own. It was suggested you chose the fabric and then the threads.

Some people got bored with the dividers and once they got enough done started stitching within the squares, but I am pretty happy plugging along as is and will do all the dividing bands first. I hope to work on it this year to get it done by Christmas. Maybe posting to the world about it on my blog will keep me on track!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Needlework Road Trip

I am late in posting about this, but here goes. WARNING kind of a long post for me, but I hope you will find it interesting.

The Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) of the Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) has an annual exhibit at the Region Seminar called Prospectors. You can find more information on the RMR website

It usually has a theme but you are not required to follow the theme. Since the 2014 Seminar was in Albuquerque with a Route 66 history, the theme was Road Trip and it spoke to me. I designed and stitched a project for the Prospectors exhibit depicting my Needlework Road Trip. I made it to fit an 8" x 10" frame and framed it myself.

So here is my road trip. 

I am starting from the bottom up since the bottom two rows represent my foundation. My grandmother and mother. Grandma made beautiful things, as did my mom. But, mom bought me projects and craft items and even gave me from her "stash" (not sure she called it that then). She always made sure I had some sort of craft or needlework item to work on or try.

First (or bottom row) my maternal Grandmother LW (I could have used LSW, but I think of her more as LW, so I left her maiden name initial off). I did her letters in black since she has passed and in a Gothic font since she was German. She did stamped cross stitch and I am lucky to have some of her work. She also sewed clothes for us and made quilts for all her grandchildren and that is what I chose to represent her with - quilt blocks. I adapted the blocks from the quilt I have in my cedar chest.

The next row up is for my mother EWD. These letters are also in black, but I did the W in the Dutch sampler style since her (and my) immigrant ancestor came over from Holland in the 1600s. Although I have sine learned it may have been Denmark! Oh well. My mother was an excellent seamstress and also knit and crocheted. I am lucky to have a pair of mittens she made in a Icelandic design. The yellow square is crocheted since she taught me how to crochet and I did it in her favorite color, yellow. The fabric swatch represents the Raggedy Ann dolls she made each of her nieces and the two I made for my nieces (since she could no longer sew) and she supervised my sewing and advised me on the correct hair color! This fabric is what I used for Ann's legs.

The third row from the bottom is my row - MDM. I do not usually use my maiden name initial, but thought it would show the ancestry better. The "D" is done in Scottish Sampler Style and colors since my father was Scottish. The flower block represents embroidery and my love of flowers shared by my grandmother and mother. The bargello represents needlepoint or canvas work.

I will skip to the top row before talking about the bigger band (4th from bottom).  The top row is the sky since I feel the sky is the limit when learning embroidery and needlepoint. The sky is done using a technique I learned in a class I took at a National EGA seminar; the cloud is done in pulled work and the sun is there because my mom once told me that I always drew a sun like that in all my drawings when I was little. The outline is couched down, a technique I first learned through EGA.

Now for the bigger band. In it are various needlework techniques I learned from being an EGA member, either as a Chapter member in Iowa, North Carolina or Colorado or at Region or National Seminars. Some even from Group Correspondence Courses or as Cyber Courses.  Some motifs also double as symbols of my childhood or have other meanings. It was fun deciding what to include and how to do it.

Starting at top left is Hardanger in my favorite color, peach.

Moving right:

  • The round motif represents Temari. 
  • The red N is a black work design in red representing the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where I went to graduate school and my mother was a die hard Husker fan for ALL her life!
  • The flower is a stumpwork rose - my grandmother grew roses and we all loved them
  • The blackwork borders the open space which represents future learning

Now at far left middle and moving right
  • The suits of cards are done in  Assisi embroidery  with a set of books to the right of them and a moon and stars in between. In the summer when school was out, my mom would let me stay up very late and read or we would play cards together. Both of us being night owls and I still am (as much as work will allow). Lucky me I married a night owl too.
  • To the right of the books is a frying pan. When my dad worked late and ate out, we would have taco night. My brother, mom and I each having a job in the taco making process. My dad did not like tacos and would not be home, so taco night was born.
  • The triangle shapes to the right of the pan is Sollerosom. A Swedish embroidery technique I learned at a class taken at the Carolinas Region Seminar.
  • Below that is drawn thread work which I first learned as a Petite Project offered by the Cedar Valley Chapter of EGA in Cedar Rapids, IA.
  • The date is done using peyote stitch &  beads (first learned at the Cardinal Chapter of EGA, Raleigh, NC.
  • Samohi = Santa Monica High School in the school colors of blue and gold (yellow). My mom, brother, some cousins and I all graduated from SAMOHI.
The green line of cross stitch represents the road and runs past and through what I have learned taking me to the open space of future learning.

For my hard work I received a Prospectors Pin and Certificate along with kind words from my fellow stitchers and stood for recognition at the Seminar closing banquet.

Thanks go to my maternal influences and fellow EGA members and teachers in the Chapters and at Seminars.

A Little more history:

In 1998 I joined EGA as a member of the Cedar Valley Chapter, Cedar Rapids, IA. This was my first exposure to EGA and it was love at first sight!! All those fantastic projects to learn - now know as WIPS!

We moved to North Carolina where I joined the Cardinal Chapter and was a charter member of the Gifted Hands Chapter. I attended many Carolinas Region Seminars, once to Calaway and one EGA National and one ANG National Seminar. North Carolina was were I was introduced to ANG (the American Needlepoint Guild). While here I decided to become a Life Member of EGA and ANG, I used some of my inheritance when my dad died and it was like my mom paid for it too.

We moved to Colorado and I joined the Colorado Chapter and the Foothills Chapter. Currently I am only a member of Foothills since I work days and Foothills has a night meeting I can attend and enjoy the same benefits as those who attend the day meeting.

I have gone to many Rocky Mountain Region Seminars and three National EGA Seminars so far while living here in Colorado and I am sure to attend more.

I enjoy the fellowship of my fellow stitchers and the many techniques and fun projects available as a member of EGA and hope to continue for a VERY long time.

Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it (sorry it was a tad long).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Halloween Finish for Valentine's Day!

I actually finished the stitching of this in time for Halloween 2014, but never got the two bat buttons until last week!

It is called Stitcher's Brew #157 by Little River.

Entire Piece
I used the fabric (28 ct "Carnival" Cashel "Colorscapes Hand-Dyed Fabric" from Picture this plus) and Weeks Dye Works & Needle Necessities (now Threadworx) threads called for in the pattern. It is approx. 7 inches wide and 15 3/4 inches tall. It includes a needle and two Another Button Company Bat Buttons.

I am not sure how I will finish finish it. Probably not a frame since it is not something I would hang on the wall all year or have a temporary place big enough to show it off during October. I may do a wall hanging which seems easier to display. Not sure.

I must tell you I have a goof in it. I miss read the thread to use for the top line - Stitcher's Brew and figured it out when I got to the W. It is supposed to be orange like the pumpkin, but I thought this color worked too rather than rip it all out!

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wrist Brace and Some Finishes

For the last two weeks I have been wearing a brace for tendinitis of my right wrist. Which is my crafting, stitching & crocheting hand!!

It also made typing on the computer fun - NOT!! The lower part of the brace kept hitting the space bar or the window key and all kinds of interesting things happened.

 But before all this I did make some progress on Sedona - Cathedral Rock. The water is done and I added the ultra suede rocks at lower left. Now all I have to get done is the sky which I planned to start when my wrist started to hurt :(

Also while still in my stitching form I completed the Sampler Guild of the Rockies 2012 Christmas Ornament. I need to finish finish it into a needle book that has a closure and hanger so you can also use it as a ornament. I am not sure I will make the needlebook, I may just finish it as an ornament.  I also decided to put the year the ornament as charted (2012) for historical purposes, but also the year I finished it (2015) as you can see in the top photo below.

It was designed by Betsy Morgan for the Sampler Guild of the Rockies as a fundraiser and is available to members only. It is called Christmas Eve in the Rockies.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blackwork Band Sampler Finish

My Foothills EGA Chapter started this Petite Project for our January and March meetings. I really ran with it and finished it last night (started it Thursday). It is a little under 3 inches wide and just under 9 inches long using 28 count linen. So not a big project which is GREAT sometimes.

I wanted to work from stash and the only #12 perle I had that would show up on the white fabric was black. Which is ok and the traditional colors, but when I found out I could use DMC Broder 16, I found some more inspiring choices in my stash (blue #820 & red #312). Woo hoo, I love when that happens!

I give you my version of the EGA Petite Project, Blackwork Band Sampler designed by Julie Fera. The availability of Petite Projects is just one of the benefits of being an Embroiderers Guild of America, Inc.(EGA) member. In this case, this project was a gift from the Chapter to it's members, usually they cost $3.00 (at least last time I checked) but are generally well worth it! Also many can be saved as a .pdf file at no cost. BUT, Petite Projects are a member only benefit.

Here is the front.

Black work is done using a double running stitch such that the back (below) looks like the front. In this case the only exception are the letters (and any goofs on my part). I think I did pretty good with the reverse, if I may say so!! Generally I do not worry or bother about it being reversible if the back will not show and it does not affect the front, but his time I did it all in double running stitch! It was good practice.

It was a VERY fun project. I worked from the top using the master chart and found a few small errors, the only one I did not notice in time was that the instructions say 5 threads between bands 1 & 2, but there was only 4 on the master. I just left it that way and made sure I did the same for the last two bands (also 4 on the master, but 5 on the instructions). Since it looks fine, I am not going to worry about it!! Now I just need to decide how to finish finish it, but I have a few ideas.

Happy Stitching All!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Caps for Preemies

Since I was a preemie myself, I like to crochet some little caps once in a while for the little ones in the hospital. The outreach program of my Foothills Chapter of EGA is able to place them. I made these recently and thought I would share with you all!

They are all various sizes as I was testing out the size hook to use. The top center is more the size for a full term baby, the others are smaller.

Also today is the 91st anniversary of my mom's birth. She taught me to crochet, so this post is perfect for January 8!!