(c) 2009 - 2024 (MEM)

Please keep in mind that, unless otherwise noted, everything on my blog is copyright material of some sort. Either by me (as picture taker, writer, creator) or more importantly by the designer of the needlework pieces I present. If you promise to be copyright mindful, my promise to you is to do my best to provide you enough information in my post for you to obtain your own legal copy. Please be respectful of these copyrights and not take business away from our wonderful designers. Thank you.
............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tissue Boxes

Twice a year my community has an EXPO where clubs can show off what they are all about and sell items they have made to support their hobby.

For Paper Crafts, I decorated some paper mâché tissue boxes. Experience has shown me that there is something on the paper mâché that sometimes resists the glue. So, I bought some spray paint and painted each box first.

I then cut out decorative paper and decorated the top and sides of the box. I made two with Saguaros and one with dogs and one with cats. I only have the cat box left.

I included a box of tissues to help keep the box from getting squished.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Saguaro Sunrise Update 1

I decided to take up Saguaro Sunrise as my stitching nest project to report on each Monday. 

It is designed to be a needlebook with the Saguaro on one side and a cool pattern on the other. 

Here is my progress to date.

I hope to have more to show next Monday!

Happy Stitching!!

Friday, February 23, 2024

February Challenge From My Local Paper Crafts Club

This year my Paper Crafts Club here at Sun City Festival has decided the monthly challenge will be using a sketch to make a card. When you enter the challenge you get a chance to win a prize!

If you are unfamiliar with this, a sketch is a road map of sorts for what the card front should look like. You put your own spin on it with the paper used and any embellishments, embossing, etc. based on the sketch. 

We are using sketches from My Favorite Things. Here is the one for February:

I made two A2 size cards (4.25"x5.5") since to make the card base you need to cut a piece of 8.5"x11" cardstock in half and why waste the card stock and the pretty decorative paper.

This is what I came up with:

I needed a birthday card and I send thinking of you type cards to three people every month, so I made the other a thinking of you card.

I used some giant sequins for the dots (buttons on the sketch) and some green heart stickers for the thinking of you card. The green is Stampin' UP! Granny Apple Green and I am not sure what the pretty designer papers are. I raised the leaf paper up with foam tape and cut a tiny strip to put under the saying that was hanging over on the left side.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Last February we planted a Daisy Mandarin Tangerine tree. While still young, it gave us 6 tangerines this year.

I know that may not be earth-shattering news, but we are excited!

Sadly, the best spot in our yard for it was where our beautiful bougainvillea was planted. We planted a new one in another part of the yard, but it is not taking off as well as the other one. I love the bougainvillea for the beautiful flowers and it reminds me of growing up in So. Calif. I am sure the neighbors are happy not to have the spent flowers all over their yards!

That is all for now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 19, 2024

The Game is On!

Because this piece is so big (16"x 16" stretcher bars), I decided to work on this in my studio (so not to clunk Coco in the head when I turn over the frame) and will work on something else at my stitching nest (project to be determined).

I have not made a lot of progress but hope to get my stitching mojo back soon. Baseball season is starting soon and that is a good time to stitch. Right now, I am a bit focused on our community EXPO and trying to make more playing card holders for Feb. 24. They do not stitch up as fast as you might think.

I am thinking it might motivate me to give you Friday updates on The Game Is On! and then Monday updates on whatever I choose for my stitching nest project. I am thinking about Quilt Square II or  Saguaro Sunrise. Maybe you can help me choose??

         Quilt Square II                             Saguaro Sunrise


Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Mystery Band Sampler

As you may recall most of 2021 was spent away from people. Our community clubs did not meet in person for most of the year. To try and keep our Festival Stitchers members engaged I designed a band sampler. 

I made the design size fairly small. Each band was 5" wide so you could stitch an entire band in one month. It corresponded with our stitch of the month. The total design size is 5"x 7".

The floss choice was up to each stitcher. I suggested a dark, medium and light shade of two coordinating colors. It could be done on 14-count Aida or 28-count linen over two. I chose rusts and greens on cream 14 count Aida.

Each band had the same dividing row at the bottom with each band being a different stitch of the month. You may notice there are only 10 bands, but twelve months. That is because in February we learned the long arm cross stitch which is the dividing band and in December was the backstitch which goes around the entire sampler.

Other stitches used: cross stitch, Smyrna cross, upright cross, rice stitch, combined cross stitch, tied oblong cross, diamond ray, Algerian eye, Pattern Darning, and knitting stitch.

The stitch and the band were published in our monthly newsletter and emailed to members. I am thinking about printing it in a booklet as a fundraiser for the club.

(c) Mary Mahaffey (2021)

I had a lot of fun designing this sampler and providing the project for the club!

Happy Stitching!!

Friday, February 16, 2024

Pilot Stitching Desert Rose for ANG National 2022

I volunteered to pilot stitch a class for Jeannette Tombaugh which she planned to teach at ANG National Seminar in 2022.

She asked we not post photos until after the seminar brochure was out. I think I am safe!

For those of you who do not know, pilot stitching is when you take the class to help the instructor find any errors or confusion in the written and verbal instructions. It is kind of a trial run before the big event! You also need to finish the project, or sometimes you are assigned a section. This helps the instructor know if there will be enough thread, beads, etc. in the kit. Because this is a trial run, the teaching fee is usually waved and all you need to pay for is the kit.

It is on sage green mono canvas and uses silks, cotton, beads, Painters Thread and Entice.

I have piloted classes before, but usually in a classroom. This time we did it via zoom or similar. It worked out ok and we were able to help her with the instructions, timing, etc.

I love helping instructors by piloting classes and was pleased this could be done off site (which is not usually how it is done).

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

ANG National Seminar 2022 Part 3

 August 4 - 5, 2022 I took a class with Susan Hoekstra called The Game Is On!

Note: I obtained verbal permission to post photos of the instructor's piece and my progress.

As you see it is a checkerboard. The kit came complete with the frame and checkers! Oh and threads too.

Here is my progress during class.

This last photo is also my progress to date. I have not worked on it since the seminar. It is on a 16"x16" stretcher bars and I can't work on it in my stitching nest without clunking the dog in the head when I turn it on my floor stand! So, I had planned to work on the other seminar pieces first and then do this in my studio somehow. As you know those plans did not work out, but there is always 2024!

Some more pretty views from the hotel. We got a bit of rain. 

Another attempt using the pano option on my phone.

I had a great time in Tucson and hope to get back to those fun projects soon!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 12, 2024

ANG National Seminar 2022 Part 2

 On August 3, I took a one-day class with Gail Stafford called Quilt Square II - Green way. There also was a purple version. 

Note: I obtained verbal permission to post photos of the instructor's piece and my progress.

I am not sure why I did not take a picture of the finished piece, but here is a photo from the instructions.

Progress during class:
The green areas were colored by Gail.

The purple squiggles are for us to color in using the Pigma brush pen provided in our kits. The squiggles were to show us the areas. 

Once we complete one area of 6 "bands", we rotate the canvas a quarter turn and repeat bands 1 -6.

Progress to date, as you see I worked on it a little bit after the seminar. The design is 4/5" x 4.5" and basically repeats four times. You would think I would have gotten farther along!

I had some great views from the back of my hotel room. On the other side of all that beautiful desert is a golf course. 

For this photo, I played with the panorama option on my phone.

That about covers it. See you for part three!

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Catching Up ANG National Seminar 2022 Part 1

I realize there is a big blog post gap from June 2022 to July 2023. As I have mentioned I was in a slump (now I see a huge slump) regarding stitching, paper crafts or anything crafting in general. I got on a reading jag and never stopped! 

I seem to be getting my mojo back, so that is good news.

July 29 - August 5, 2022, the American Needlepoint Guild had their National Seminar and celebration of 50 years as a Guild in Tucson, Arizona. Since that was driving distance for me, I decided to go.

I took three classes. Two were two days and one was one day. To avoid a post being too photo-heavy, I will post about each class separately.

The weather was fine and the views from the hotel were fantastic. I will spread them out among the posts. The Seminar was held at the Westin La Paloma with great views of the Catalina mountains.

My first class was August 1 & 2. Aztec Heart by Kathy Rees. Here is my progress to date. I stitched a little after Seminar, but not much.

Note: I obtained verbal permission to post photos of the instructor's piece and my progress.

Here is the class sample.

My progress in class.

This is my progress to date. As you can see, I worked on it a bit after the seminar. I believe the needle keep is an Seminar item purchased in advance.

The design size is 9"x 9". It uses floss and metallics for accents.

This seminar was originally set for 2020 but Covid delayed it. I was all set to go and had purchased the name tag instructions. In 2022, they had another name tag option, but I liked the original from 2020 and decided to stitch it. 

That is all for ANG National Seminar 2022 Part 1

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Saguaro Sunrise Needlebook

This is a canvas piece that was originally offered at the ANG National Seminar in Tucson, AZ (August 2022). As I write that I realize I may have never posted anything about that Seminar. Well, a post for another day.

Anyway, Sandie was able to teach the class through the Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) Southwest Pacific Region in 2023. I was able to sign up as a ghost (did not need to actually show up to the class). Which was nice I did not have to drive to California.

I started working on it in November 2023 and mostly stitched it during my weekly Festival Stitchers club meetings. As I mentioned earlier, I have been in a bit of a slump stitching and crafting-wise, so the stitching was slow going. I hope to change things and stitch more in 2024.

I have the bottom section in various dark blue and purple colors to finish and then front side of the needlebook is complete. The stitch used (diagonal triple Parisian) is a bit tricky and I could not work on it during club meetings anymore (too much chatting). 

Once I am done, or tired of, making those playing card holders I will start back up with this. Or now that I think of it, I could start the back side, those stitches look like I could do them during a meeting.

Just one more decision to make!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Playing Card Holders & Some Paper Crafts

 The community I live in, Sun City Festival has Expos two to three times a year. It is an opportunity for club members to show off what the club is all about. It is also an opportunity to sell items and make the cost of materials and maybe a little extra to help club members continue their hobby.

I made playing card holders a few years ago and for the last two Expos people have asked for them. So, I am working on getting some ready for our next Expo which is February 24, 2024.

I sell them in sets of four and here are two complete sets. I am working on a red, white and blue set and a set using a yarn with greens, rusts and dark reds. I have enough bases to make 6 sets. Time will tell if I can get them done in time, but there is always the next Expo!

For the last year or so, I have been in a creative slump of sorts. Not a lot interested me, and I spent a lot of time reading. This past week, I have started to come out of my slump and have been busy with playing card holders and paper crafts and cards (also for Expo).

Here are some Post-it note holders.

I have 39 cards to put in the Expo, but only showing you the ones I made with watercolors. I made them the Art Impressions way, using stamps, watercolor pens, and of course water and brushes!

Instead of using my original watercolor, I used my copier to make a print and used that on the cards. This way I get to keep my original.

I made these A2 size (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") into a set of 4 cards.

These are also A2.

These last two are mini slim line (3 1/2" x 6").

That is all for now. Happy Stitching!