Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year !

Here is some type of old calendar sheet that was available online...of a 1910 calendar.  One hundred years ago.  It's hard to even imagine those times.  Some things better than those of today; some things not so good.

Today is a day to be thinking about what we didn't quite accomplish in 2009, or in the first decade of the 21st century.  It is also a time to think about what we might strive to accomplish or change in the upcoming year.

One of the things I would like to do is to finish more stitching projects, and keep a photographic record of my work.  An excellent example is on the Miss Jane blog listed at the bottom of mine.  This gal does lots of beautiful stitching and takes excellent photos of same.  Check out her work for 2009.  Makes you want to produce a collage for 2010, doesn't it?

Whatever your ambitions and dreams, stay focused and don't give up hope.  Have a wonderful New Year's weekend, and I wish you the best of health, happiness, and prosperity for 2010. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Late Christmas Gift for All

Here is a really poor photo of Rose's Christmas cardinal - Tis the Season - from BBD Joyeux Noel book.  The piece is much prettier in person than it appears here.  And my focus was terrible.

Rose stitched this piece on 40 count copper Lakeside Linen that she dipped in cherry and strawberry (I think) Kool Aid.  Everyone who sees this piece just goes crazy over it!  Another beautiful finish.  Great work, Rose.

P.S. I hope I get a finish on here soon!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rose's Merry Christmas in Progress

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Last night was our December BBD meeting.  Lenore, Carol, Rose, and I splurged and went out for a nice dinner at Longhorn and then came back to my house for stitching, sharing, cookie eating, and just good fun.  We sat in the TV room with the tree lit and it really felt like the Christmas season.  Sorry that once again, I didn't have the house warm enough for my guests.  I'm so used to trying to keep the gas bill down that I am used to chilly!

I worked a little on my Sarah Tobias needle roll, which I hadn't looked at in a couple of months.  Carol went back to her autumn piece, which is coming along nicely.  Basically she has the bricks on the house, the big moon, a few more stars, and the words to complete.  Lenore started work on the piece on red fabric...the design that she borrowed from Rose a month or so ago.  I should have written down the name if it.  Will get more information next time.  Rose continued work on her Merry Christmas sampler from the Joyeux Noel book.  As you can see, she has eliminated the snowflake top border and is using the holly on both the top and bottom.  I, for one, think this makes for a much classier look.  If I do this piece, I, too, will do the double holly border.  What does everyone think?

It was a fun night.  Leaves you in a nice Christmas spirit to gear up for the week to come.  Stay in the spirit, everyone. 

P.S.  Yea...up to six followers...thanks, Rose! 8-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Change of Seasons

I have been so busy that I have neglected this blog terribly.  So much to do.  Take down all the beautiful autumn things that I so love.  Replace them with Christmas decorations that are here and there...some easily accessible to me and some tucked away in places that I need assistance reaching.  I know all of you are going through the same things.  It's fun, but a little overwhelming at times.

I haven't worked on anything BBD in a while.  Too many other things to do.  I am furously stitching on a couple of Christmas gifts, which has taken up much of my time over the past three or four days.  Today is being spent mostly on decorating. 

I am loving the nice sunshine we have here today.  What a December blessing.  We still have only had one little snow...a day after Thanksgiving surprise that was gone the next day.

I hope all of you are having fun with all the activities of the season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2009.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well, I see that I have published the photo of the recipe card too large and some of the wording was cut off.  Here is a smaller version of the recipe.  If there is a way to edit a post after finalizing it, I haven't figured that out yet!

Rose shared her recipe for Cranberry Relish with me...and I am sharing it with you.  She gave me some grief for never having gone past opening a can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, and slicing it on a plate.  Well, this will be the year that we try an updated cranberry side dish on Thanksgiving!

I am slightly embarrassed (but only slightly) to say that I have ordered a pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Early on it was just too confusing about how many were actually going to show up for dinner, so I just opted for the easy way out.  I plan to supplement the dinner with some home made trimmings, however.  One of which will be this relish.  I have also printed out a couple of recipes for stuffing cooked inside a hollowed out pumpkin.  I might give this a try.  It looks really festive.

Does anyone have any fun and maybe a little unusual side dish recipes they would like to share?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blog Eye Candy

Be sure to check out the updated posts on the two Blackbird blogs listed in the left margin of this one...lots of new pix of projects finished sent in by gals out there.  Eye candy!

Also, I've added a new blog to the list at the bottom of this blog...Chocolates 4 Breakfast.  This woman has posted some beautiful photos taken at the recent BBD appreciation day at Kindred Spirits.  Really fun to look at.  Now, how can I find more hours in the day to complete some of my own projects?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flea Market Souvenir

Yet another beautiful finish to show you...Ginny's Flea Market Souvenir.  Really cute.  I hope to stitch this one day...probably without the challenge of using three different fabrics, however.  Ginny did a great job on piecing these together.  Hey, Rose...once your grandson's stocking is finished, maybe you could do the little bit of work left on yours. 

BBD has so many fun little projects and ideas. 

Beautiful BBD House Finishes

This is Joan's Merry Christmas Ella Vaughn from BBD, which was the fourth chart in the Remember Me series of designs.  A beautiful holiday stitch beautifully framed.  It's not too late to finish this one before Christmas!

This is Joan's Where my Heart Blooms from BBD (LF 29).  I love this one.  Although it isn't a holiday piece, to me it can look like Christmas or Valentine's Day.  Mmmmmm...might have to start this one soon. 

Also beautifully stitched and framed, Joan.

By the way, all of us at Rose's weekend discovered what an infectious and contageous hearty laugh Joan has.  She had all of us in stitches!  Thanks, "Giggles"!

Debbie's BBD Christmas Quilt Blocks

Here are Debbie's blocks for her BBD Christmas quilt, which is in progress.  I forgot to ask the name of the quilt and the book that the pattern is in.  I know she has the blocks sewn together now.  She showed her quilt top at last weekend's get together at Kindred Spirits.  There are a ton of hours of applique here!  I don't think I could do, I know I could NOT do this!  Nice work Debbie. 

I can hardly wait to see this project finished.  It almost gets me in the mood to do a little quilt making, which I haven't done for a long time.  Anyone else getting the bug? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BBD Project Photos...I Will Post Soon!

More pictures of BBD from the get-together at Rose's and the Kindred Spirits event last weekend coming soon, I promise! 
Holidays are coming quickly now.  I like this drawing of early Pilgrims. It helps me to stop and think about what Thanksgiving means instead of all the things I have to do.  

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Loose Feathers 33

Two photos of Linda's Loose Feathers 33 -
Keepsake Box & Pinkeep.  These turned out beautiful.  Nice job as always, Linda.  BTW, she gave these as a gift. 

I am currently working on this.  I just have the two bottom flowers and the vase to stitch.  It will take a miracle for mine to turn out as nice as Linda's, but will give it my best shot!  Don't you love the paper she choose for the inside of the box?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Too Much Fun !

We just had a three day "weekend" that was one of my most fun times in recent memory! 

Rose's Halloween stitching weekend was filled with fun, laughter, stitching, show and tell, food, sharing, laughter, ideas, creativity, food, giggles, fun, fun, and more fun!  Yes, I know I repeated some of those words, but they needed to be repeated!  So many wonderful stitched finishes and WIPs to check out. Lots of ideas shared by those with more stitch knowledge and experience than I have.  Mulling things over and coming up with new ideas together.  I just can't express how much fun I have had over the past three days.  Can you ever have too much fun?  I must admit it feels good to be back to something close to  "normal" this morning...even to face some of the must-do responsibilities that have to be seen to today.  A good balance for now.

I have so many photos to put on this blog...many brought BBD projects for show and tell...and other projects, as well.  I will be putting photos and stories on here throughout the week. 

I'll be back here after taking care of more pressing things.  For now I want to thank everyone who made this such a fun time...and especially to Rose who opens her home to a dozen or two stitch-happy women every couple of months...and kudos to David who not only so graciously tolerates his home being taken over by giggling women, but assists in quiet little ways.

Since we were talking about quotes from Shakespeare yesterday (many of which I can't say I fully understand!) I will end for now with this one:

I can no other answer make but thanks.  And thanks!
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Little Visit to Paradise

Carol and I enjoyed a few days in Paradise (also known as HHI)!  She attended A Stitcher's Gathering, put on by Rae and Ron Iverson; I went for some relax time in the warm breezes...back to a place that I have visited several times before, but not for some time.  We both enjoyed our short stay at Hilton Head very much...the drives going and coming...not so much! This was the view from our balconey, where we spent a fair amount of stitching and relaxing.  Good to be there...good to be back home, too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One of the many Halloween pieces on display at Rose's Halloween House!

Boxes - Update

Alma had a drawing on the BBD blog for three fabric covered boxes and goodies brought home from Market, but I was not one of the lucky winners...will have to try to make my own.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Halloween Blog Fun

I just visited a new blog for the first time, and it was really fun.  This gal is INTO Halloween!  Fun pix of witch friends, stitching projects, recipes, and you can blast "Monster Mash" while checking out her blog.
Also contests for good give aways!

Here is the link:

Have fun...

Friday, October 16, 2009


We bought some paper mache boxes yesterday to try to make painted boxes with applied photocopies of stitched samplers, similar to what is shown in the new BBD book, Joyeux Noel.  I just saw the fabric covered one that Alma is showing in her latest BBD blog post (see link in left margin).  This, too, is very cool; I just bought some of the fabric that she used on ebay a couple of weeks ago.

These seem like easy, fun, quick projects...but I don't have too much talent or patience or confidence for "crafty" projects like this.  I'm hoping that working with friends will teach me more of all of these. 

Any pictures of boxes that you would like to share with us?  Would love to see them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Any Time for Quilt Making?

I just saw the cute quilt on the BBD site made from Moda Garden Party fabrics.  The book and the fabrics are due in spring of 2010.  It's really cute...check it out.

If there aren't enough hours in the day to stitch everything I would like to stitch, how could I ever fit in a quilt?  I just might have to find a way.  It's been almost five years since I made a quilt top, I think.  And it sure is a quilty day.  Hoping for sun tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Pumpkin Sightings

Some of the harvest from Rose's pumpkin patch.

Love October!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Our Third Get-Together

We had our third BBD get-together October 1 at Carol's house.  Julie joined us for the first time.  She had just returned from the St. Charles Market and had LOTS of goodies for us to drool over.  By the way, be sure to check out the Blackbird Designs blog if you haven't lately to see how their booth was set up with all their fun things.  Cool!

Both Carol and Julie have the newly released BBD Joyeux Noel booklet...which caused Rose and I to become green with envy.  Lots of simply pretty projects here.  Carol has also purchased two new Halloween patterns from BBD.  Although I never stitch anything "Halloween", I really like the pattern with the house and the huge moon behind an arched black cat.  As Lenore pointed out, it must be the moon that drew me in!

I think we did more chatting and laughing than stitching...but that's OK.  Carol worked on her Moonlit Garden and is closing in on a finish.  Lenore worked on her Sweetheart Sampler (LF12).  Rose went back to the Quaker Garden (LF19), which is looking very elegant.  Julie worked on one of the small stockings from the BBD Tis Hallowe'en booklet (see above).  I worked on the alphabet portion of my Flowers for Sarah Needle Case.

I think October brings on a whole new level of enthusiasm for different stitching projects...and many other things.  Catch it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Means Pumpkins

How can it be October 1st already?  October is my favorite month, although our September this year was magnificent!

Over the weekend I was at my sister's house.  On Sunday we walked in the Toledo area Race for the Cure.  On Saturday we went to a pumpkin patch where you could harvest your own pumpkin...$3 each.  It was fun and we laughed our heads off!

Here is my pumpkin arrangement on my back patio. I will also post a photo of the back of my car after visiting the pumpkin patch.  I hope all of you have some October fun.  It's great.

Our third Blackbird get-together is tonight, so I will have some BBD posts coming in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Sarah Needle Case Beginning

Here is the start of my Flowers for Sarah Needle Case. As you can see, I am changing some of the thread colors to suit my taste. I have actually finished the first of the four stitching areas and started the second one last night...after much counting and recounting. This piece supports the argument for accurate basting along center lines and sometimes side lines. The linen for this project is 54 inches's a long way between stitching areas!
Hope to get much of section two finished this weekend.
Happy stitching to everyone during this first weekend in autumn 2009. Enjoy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friends in the Flock

Hey, distant friends in the flock...Debbie, Linda, Ginny...
anyone else...
Have you been working on a BBD project? Please send photos.
Have you been searching through your stash for old BBD charts, WIPs, etc.?
We'd love to hear about it. Email photos to me.
Post comments about what you're doing below this post.
Searching for blackbirds...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carol's Progress

Look at how Carol is progressing on her autumn BBD project. Perfect fall colors. Nice going, Carol. I see a finish coming up by October...just in time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Summer Jubilee Completed - Rose

Rose finished her Summer Jubilee last week. She is affectionately known as "the over-achiever" and certainly has lived up to her nickname on this project. I'll post a photo of the completed project when I can get one.

Congratulations, Rose! It is beautiful. (I'm still trying to get my eyes to focus on that 40-count charcoal fabric!

Our Second Meeting

I'm a little late in posting to the blog. Life got in the way...some happy things and some rather frightening things.

Anyway, we had our second meeting at my house on September 3rd. Lenore joined Carol, Rose, and me. I served Chicken and Salsa Soup, a recipe from the BBD A Fine Collection book. Everyone seemed to like it. I actually made this recipe as a trial run last week before serving it to the group. I have found that I like adding a cup or so of diced celery and using low sodium chicken broth. It's quick and easy, and pretty healthy.

Lenore brought her BBD stash for us to look through. Carol has found two duplicates in her stash...Autumn Bouquet and House on Acorn Hill. We'll try to think up a way to award/trade these in the future. Hey, long distance members...any suggestions?

Carol worked on Moonlit Garden, which is turning out to be a pretty autumn piece. Rose continued working on our SAL piece - Summer Jubilee; it is coming along great. She'll be finished before you know it. Lenore started work on LF No. 12, Sweetheart Sampler. I began putting my pincushion from the Sarah Tobias book together, which has been shown previously on this blog.

Lenore borrowed Blackbird's Winter Delivery from Rose.

It was a fun evening.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Speaking of Birds

Did you know that -

September is migration month, and there are more birds in the NE Ohio area now than any other month...
Very large flocks of thousands of birds, made up of many different species, can be heard flying overhead on quiet nights...
Blackbird (grackles, cowbirds, and redwings) flocks can number in the thousands...

These tidbits of knowledge were taken from the September publication from Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Pins & Tulips Pincushion

My First BBD Finish!

I just finished my Pins & Tulips Pincushion from the Thank You, Sarah Tobias booklet. I changed the colors to make it have a spring appearance. I backed it with one of my favorite Thimbleberries fabrics from a few years ago. It's got a few lumps and bumps, but it's finished and I like it!


Possible SAL in the Near Future

Carol, Rose, and I are all very smitten by the Flowers for Sarah Needle Case shown in the Thank You, Sarah Tobias BBD booklet. It's a fairly easy stitch put together into a long, folded needlecase in a unique way, backed and trimmed with a quilt fabric. We have been talking about this pattern for about a month. It would be fun to work on and fun to see the quilt fabrics chosen by everyone and how your floss colors might be changed to coordinate with your fabric choice.

If you're interested in stitching along with us on this sometime in the near future, let us know and keep us informed of your choices with email pix, etc. that I can post.

Bobbi (for the group)

BBD Stockings, Etc.

Here are a couple of sites to check out regarding the BBD stockings series.

The first site shows the three designs for August - very pretty:

This site shows some helpful hints for stocking finishing:
Mary Kathryn has a very nice blog and an equally nice little online shop.

Unrelated to BBD, the site to get a sneak preview of some of the blocks in the upcoming Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow is:

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of Labor Day Weekend 2009. The weather is almost too wonderful to do any stitching (almost!).


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rose's Summer Jubilee as of 9.3.09

Spur-of-the-Moment SAL

Rose had been admiring a BBD that was published years ago in a magazine - I think "Just Cross Stitch" - called Summer Jubilee. Some of her friends stitched this years ago and she always liked it. She ordered a big piece of Lakeside Linen - I think Charcoal - in 40 count (her favorite). Carol and I decided to follow suit, so the three of us have begun stitching Summer Jubilee (also published in BBD's booklet "Souvenirs of Summer". This fabric definitely calls for improved methods of lighting and magnification, but it will be well worth the effort.

Shown below is Rose's progress on this piece as of last Thursday night. Carol and I have, of course, about 1/20 of this much finished! What do you think of Rose's work? Would any of you long distance friends like to join us on this SAL project? It's a great piece for a winding down summer.


Friday, September 4, 2009

More Birds in the Nest

Our group has gotten a little larger. Lenore (local) will be joining us when she can.

We also now have three long-distance fledglings - Ginny, Debbie, and Linda. Hope you can join us for a meeting sometime. Keep in touch here and elsewhere! Send us pix of BBD finished or in the works!


First Real Meeting

Some ordering of new BBD patterns took place, along with much stash searching at Carol and Rose's houses.

Our first meeting was held on August 20 at Rose's, following some delicious dinners at Olive Garden. We had great fun checking out each other's BBD collections. A list was made of the 38 Loose Feathers designs and among the 3 of us, we have all but 3 of these designs - subject to change as Carol and Rose dig deeper into stash nooks and crannies. Rose showed us a couple of wonderful finished projects.

I am pushing wacky and whimsical for this group. In that mood I made a motion to name a bird-shaped sweet potato that I have that sprouted wings - loose feathers - as our mascot for 2009. Her picture will be shown below. I know it's silly, but who cares?!

One rule was made at this meeting - that one must work on a BBD project at least once during each week.

Rose started work on Loose Feather #19, Quaker Garden. Carol started LF # 22, Moonlit Garden. I borrowed Rose's copy of Blessings be Thine, which I will begin stitching. A fun evening!

What a Surprise!

I was surprised and amused to see that I had a follower on this very novice blog before I had even posted anything.

Welcome, Barb. I'll always remember you as our first follower!

P.S. I love the variety of projects on your blog, both stitched and quilted. I hope you find the right shade of Purple Iris.


An Idea Hatched

Rose, Carol, and I were stitching together last month and out of the blue I said, "Why don't we start a little Blackbird Design (BBD) club?" I don't even know where that thought came from because I had never stitched a Blackbird Design in my life, and as my stitching friends know,

I have a strong aversion to crows in samplers. (By the way, any dark colored birds that I stitch will be referred to as blackbirds or mocking birds!)

The idea was enthusiastically received and we were on our way. What a great excuse to get together more often, enlarge our stashes, make our WIP lists longer, and, yes, complete some relatively quick, fun-to-stitch projects.