Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping Up My Trip, Some Gifts a WIP and a Finish - Lots of Snaps

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends, well, today will be the last post of the year.  It is really nice to end on a high note.  I have so enjoyed the past year and look forward to another year of fun stitching and posting!!

I am going to wrap up my trip with Christmas day - not only was it the hottest of all the days I was home, but I left late in the afternoon so it was my last day there.  We did our usual breakfast buffet of "Tortilla Breakfast Casserole," "Sausage Pinwheels" and assorted pastries, egg nog, juice and coffee.  We opened up gifts and it was so very nice and quiet with just the family and Christmas music playing.  It was also getting very warm... I said hot....  so we took off for the beach and a few hours of lovely breezy sunshine and sand.  I had my camera and got some nice snaps..

This is a shot looking south.  We stopped a little north of the Granada approach, where no cars are on the beach. I know the snap is a bit hot but I really liked the reflection on the water and the sky.

There were a ton of birds just hanging out, I guess since the tide was going out they where looking for snacks.

This is one of the smaller older beach house left along this stretch  - most of the older homes have been pulled down and replaced with mini-mac-mansions - a real pity, but I guess progress is progress...

This last shot is looking north - I just liked the way it looks.

When I got back home (SF) I had a couple of presents waiting for me....

from Faye - Carolina Stitcher - stitched me this wonderful pyn keeper....

....  I saw a lovely ornament ( I attached a tiny eye-screw to the back et voila) on my stitching tree!!

and Marie - Creative Thread -  sent me a gorgeous skein of forest green floss.

 - and - a friend of Rico's had this wonderful ornament made for us.  

I have also been working a bit on the "A la Belle Etoile" Sal and here is an updated snaperoo - 

On this piece I did change all the recommended DMC floss over to silks and am really enjoying them!!  I even went back and changed my conversion of the Gloriana "Elizabethan Green" I had originally chosen - I changed it to Belle Soie "Attic Tea" and am really happy about that!!  This is working up nicely and I should have it "off the snap" soon.

While I was home I finished up the ABC Noel - and here is the completed piece....

"ABC Noel" - Les Ambrosales
36 ct LL Vintage Meadow Rue
Recommended DMC
October 11 - December 24, 2011

I did drag out the stitching a bit to make a Christmas Eve finish, but it was worth it.  It was a fun stitch and although all the DMC I used were the recommended colours I did change up some of the colour placements to fit what I though looked best -  I am stubborn that way.
That's about it for today - I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New year......
Isn't this a great older Dutch card!! - Have a safe weekend!!!! 
I'll be back on next Tuesday - woo hoo for the three day weekend!!!!!!!

Take care,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Christmas Day Trip

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends thanks again for stopping by, I do appreciate your visits, comments and emails.  I wasn't too sure about mentioning eating gator, but it is one of the things I get when I can.  There is a "southern" restaurant here in SF that I have even been able to get gator at!!  I first had gator in Louisiana, and found it delicious!!  If over cooked it can be a bit on the chewy side, but when done correctly it is a juicy "sweet" meat - to me it has a very distinct flavour not very chickeny - I love trying new things - food, experiences, places and people - life is to be lived and experienced... and you can't do that from the sidelines!!  A little pep talk on this cold Thursday morning!!

More about my Christmas....... We took a day off from the Christmas fa-la-la and took a family day trip - since my mom lives so very close to St Augustine, everyone thought it would be nice to take a drive north and make a visit.  If you remember I was just there this past summer, but it is a super place and I was all up for another trip.

John, had rented a Harley the evening before and to make it a nice ride for him we took A1A along the ocean, it takes a little longer but the ride is so much nicer!!  We crossed over the Granada Bridge heading toward A1A and I took this picture from our car.....

This is John and niece on the Harley he got...  In Florida it is at the riders discretion whether or not to wear a helmet.  It was another lovely warm breezy, bright day - so the drive was really great...  we  headed north and after an hour or so ended up here...

The Castillo is a low lying fort but as you get closer you see how very big it really is....

The flag they fly over the fort is the "Cross of Burgundy" Flag (1506-1701) - this is the flag that the conquistadors carried with them in their conquest of the Americas.  We visited the Castillo first then went down into the old town....  I took a bunch of snaps....

There are lots of courtyards behind the houses, and I got this snap by poking my head through a fence.

This is The Pena-Peck House and was constructed c. 1750 by order of the King of Spain to be the residence of his royal Treasurer, Juan Esteban de Pena.

 is the inside of the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine or you can click HERE to read more about the Parish - I love the ceiling painted such a vibrant red.

This is the main alter all decorated in evergreen for the season - even in this large space the scent of pine was wonderful!! 

This large mural depicts the spreading of the faith in Florida by the Spanish.

.. and they had up a lovely large Nativity for the season.

Here is a snap of the street the runs along beside The Columbia Restaurant.  A really nice place for a leisurely sit down type meal.  We got a great lunch The Bunnery Cafe on St George Street.

John took this snap of me - looking all sweaty and red from the sun.....

Here is another street shot - with typical houses and palm trees....  We had a super visit and I would totally recommend it to anyone who wants a little history and a break from the bigger attractions in central Florida.

That's about it for today sports fans.  More to come tomorrow, do stop by again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Florida Food - or how's that Gator Tail??

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends your warm sweet welcoming comments are just great and I do thank you all so very much!!  

Our Christmas Trip Home was really super, we didn't do anything spectacular, but just sort of enjoyed each others company.  I got in Friday and over the weekend helped with the decorating of my Mom's house.  At 85 she ain't as spry as she once was!!  My sister and niece came in on Monday evening so I drove over to Orlando to pick them up - and Interstate 4 between Daytona and Orlando is a complete free for all - even going 75 or 80 miles and hour - I was being passed up like I was putting along at 20!  It was a super gorgeous day and I had my Mom's convertible - so I was jut tooling along with the top down enjoying the drive.  As dusk settled in it was less glamorous and a bit chilly - so when I arrived at the airport I pulled the top back up.

John and my nephew got in on Wednesday  - also into Orlando - but rented a car so he drove himself over to Daytona.  We did a lot of running around and went down to pick up some lunch - we headed over to Caribbean Jacks - which is right on the Halifax River with docks for landing boats.  I got some snaps....

This is the front - a little non plain...

sitting next to a sweet niece I had a great view!!

 Some of the great boats moored up along side of the restaurant

more great boats..

 and I ordered some delicious fried gator tail - love the stuff!!!  It came with a delicious spicy Creole mayonnaise dipping sauce..

 John had some crazy Caribbean burger and rings

another super boat!!

It was a really lovely lunch.  The tables where all covered and the double seats acted like gliders so you could eat, glide and catch the wonderful balmy breezes off the water -

There you go for today sports fans - 
check back tomorrow for more of the continuing Christmas Trip.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back from Christmas Travels

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends I am back - actually I got back about 11:50 pm Sunday night  - and then I spent a day (Monday) being a big old lump and decompressing from my familial Christmas a la Florida.  I am now back to work and there are piles on piles of things to do......

I have also gone through my two main email accounts and have been dumping the hundreds of the odder emails - I am certain I am not ready for Viagra and I am not in the market for a lift on any part of my person so there goes about 200 of the emails right off the top!!! 

The Christmas Holiday was great fun - it was super to see my mom  -  or I should rephrase that...  deal with my sweet mama.  I loved seeing my sister and her family - although, with my BIL and both my nephew (13) and niece (12) taller than I - it does feel like I should pop on a munchkin hat/wig and start to sing....

......  but I refrain, and I just look up!!  We had some adventures, and the weather was perfect for most of the time... until it climbed above 80 degrees Christmas day.....  after a fun prezzie exchange  - we took off to the beach.

I have quite a few snaps (over 100) and will be showing a bunch of those over the next few days, so gird your loins for that thrill!!!!  I did miss writing everyday, even when I type out lots of drivel - I still enjoy the contact with my stitching friends, buddies and comrades!!!!

I do hope everyone had a super Christmas and a lovely Holiday!!  Do stop back by for more of my shenanigans tomorrow.

Take care,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas to One and All

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends today is my last post for about12 or so days.  Tomorrow morning before the "crack of jack" (can we say 3:45 AM) will be picking me up for my early morning flight to Florida we we will gather together a celebrate Christmas a la familia.  Living here on the West coast and time change I will not get into Daytona Beach until late afternoon - but I guess thems the breaks.

Let me start of today's post with a super gift I got in the mail yesterday - my dear stitching buddy, Vera, sent me some Christmas goodies....

.... a darling reindeer ornament and some delicious homemade applesauce, from her own trees!!  The ornament looks stupendous with the rest on my "Stitching Tree" and I am saving the applesauce for when I come back from my "Holiday."  Thank you so much Vera for thinking of me!!

.....and talking about my "Stitching Tree" I sort of looked around at some larger more traditional feather trees out there and boy they can get really pricey!!  Gotta start saving my pennies!

I also heard from Lisa over at Lisa's Cross Stitch Paradise - that she received the ornament I stitched for her in the HOE Stitchers Choice Ornament Exchange.  Here is a snap I took before I sent it out...

... it is called "Noel" and is part of a small sampler from Beth Twist's booklet of Christmas samplers "Tidings of Great Joy."  I wanted something a bit different and this fit the bill.  I have stitched for Lisa quite a few times and she is always so sweet when she sees another of my parcels coming into her house!!  :)

I think that about wraps up the post for today.  I wanted to wish everyone near and far a very Happy , and Merry Christmas!!

I'll be back in a few days!!
Take care,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Lovely Present, An Exchange and I just couldn't helpit!!

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends I did want to thank you for all your warm comments and emails about yesterdays post.  Being a raving sentimentalist it is hard for me not to get a "verklumpt" about Christmas and my decorations.  I love the old and ratty over the new and shiny every time!!  I love the handmade over store bought, I am the biggest sucker for sweet and simple, and I haul out every year my steamer trunk of things from the past - as the Holiday season is a time to look back and remember.

Yesterday the Mail brought me something really wonderful - Becky, who many of us know from the Blog world - is one to of the dearest people and I have been blessed to call her a dear friend for the past few years!!  She sent me a lovely gift from her heart -

Here it is nestled in with my other stitched pieces - a darling reindeer pillow-ette.  She knows how I love reindeer and this piece fits in so well with everything  - it is stitched and finished superbly!! Thank you so much!!!!

As you all know I am a big Exchange Lover and I did a Private one with sweet Charity from over at "Lover of Cross Stitch."  We did an ornament exchange and here is a snap of the piece I made for her...

.... it is a Prairie Schooler chart from Book 10 "Prairie Christmas."  I just love Cardinals and red birds and this piece really spoke to me.  I included some treats along with the exchange and everything arrived safe and sound.

Last night we ran out to do some last minute shopping and ended up at the Stonestown Mall.  We stopped by Macy's as they where having a super sale all over the store and ended up looking in the Christmas Decorations area.  With ornaments at 60% off how could I not look, not that I needed any more.... but I was jut looking.....  which turned into "I must have that!!"  Here is what I picked up...

.... a super Jim Shore Christmas Noah Santa.  When I got him home up on the tree he went.  I do love the Noah story and Jim Shore has some really great ornaments and things!!  Isn't he great...  next to him on the right is a little blue booty with the year 1996 - I bought that when my nephew was born.  To the left is a Santa Grinch ornament - I do love Dr Seuss and the Grinch story is a seasonal favorite....  and behind Noah is a blown glass chicken ornament - who doesn't love a sparkly chicken on a Christmas tree....  Yes I'm nuts!!!  Go figure!!

There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by.. do come again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Super Exchange and More Christmas Snaps

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends again I must thank you so very much for all your kind comments and emails.  Warming up another cold morning with such kindness - thank you!!

I wanted to start off today's post with an exchange I received yesterday - I took part in the last round of the Ornament Exchange over at the HOE - it was a Stitchers Choice Exchange and I was lucky enough to have as my partner Marie from Tirilluim Creates.  Her stitching and finishing are top notch and the ornament she sent me was another super job!!  Here is a snap...

The chart was a freebie, but I left the info at home - isn't he just darling!!  I do love reindeer and he is a winner.  Thank you so much, Marie!!  He went right on to my "Tree of Stitching."

Last night we finished getting up both our big Christmas tree and my smaller "Tree of Stitching."  Let me start off with the smaller but more important of the two trees.  By our front door we set up my faux feather tree and mercury glass Snow Family and this year was no different.  Here are some snaps...

from the front door you see the tree from this side....  and.....

from the other side you see more lovelies.  

I have so many great stitching friends, buddies, comrades of the needle everywhere - and have done quite a few exchanges that I have quite a collection of super ornaments and pieces of Christmas Stitching that I do love to pull together and decorate a tree.  We where talking last night and think it is time for a bigger tree!!... so I am now on the hunt for a more traditional and bigger feather tree, and by next year I'll have one!!  I love seeing and thinking about everyone that stitched these for me - and that's what Christmas is all about Family and Friends - and although we can't all get together -  I can get together my wonderful tokens of friendship!!!!  Thank you all so much!!!

I also put up my Nativity that my Grandmother made for me when I was a mear baby - about a bazillion years ago!!

I love having this out and seeing it every year!!  Not only because my Granny made it but because it is the reason for the season!!!

I also wanted to show some shots of our tree.  We went with our faux tree instead of getting a live one - so it went up easy and there will be not all that needle fall out in a few weeks!! 
Here are some snaps....

An overall shot of the tree - with my creche to the lower left..... and some close ups....

I really like this ornament  - since I love magnolia and it sparkles, who could ask for more!!
and another snap...

One of my favorite Santa ornaments and you can see my reflection in the purple ball - I love putting up a tree and seeing all the old ornaments come out - we have such a mish mash of things to go on the tree - I love them all - the funny ones, the old and scratched ones , the home made and the store bought ones - its all lovely Christmas - to me at least!!  Even as laden as the tree is I still have a ton of ornaments left over that I had to pack up and put away - I could have decorated this tree over again and still had some left over!!  One of my favorite things to put on the tree is the star - it is old and plastic, and has been around since I was a toddler - and although some people do not like it (not mentioning any names... begins with R) I like it and it goes on the top of the tree!!!!

Well, I think I have droned on enough today sports fans!! 
Thanks for stopping by, do come again!!

Take care,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Snaps

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends thank you all so much for your kind comments and emails - I do love reading them in the morning and they do brighten up an otherwise dreary cold Monday!!

Over the weekend there was lots of Christmas cheer in our lives.....  on Saturday evening we had quite a few parties to attend.  I carried my camera, it is small and fits in my pocket.  I think the prettiest party we got to was one I look forward to every year - giving by our friends Chris and Mo.  They have a great old San Francisco painted lady and so the Christmas party is always has such an old fashioned feeling and is really just beautiful...  here are some snaps

There was a lovely tree in the front parlor.  It has both electric light and candles - which they lit later in the evening, and no matter how many pictures I take I just can not get a good candlelit one - but trust me it is a sight to warm the coldest heart!!

There were banks of poinsettias all over the house.

and of course there was Humphrey the Christmas camel.  Chris has him out every year. 

After leaving Chris and Mo's we had one more party to get to, but stayed only a little while.  The city was busy all over and traffic was terrible - and parking was worse!

We put our tree yesterday - I'll get some snaps of that tomorrow - and of course there was the Christmas cheer to have while decorating....

.....  a big old glass of the PA Dutch Egg Nog (at almost 30 proof, which is a bit on the strong side) I will cut it with some Bud's.  Now I like a good kick to my Egg Nog and the blend of these two is almost perfect!!  Here in the Bay area Bud's is about the best there is to be had, IMHO - simply delicious!!!!!!

I finished up my last Exchange for the year and will have that in the mail today - so I got to work a bit on my ABC Noel - I bet you forgot about that didn't you!!!  Here is a snap..

I finally finished up  the little Santa type elf on "V" and am now on to "W."  As you can see each of the letters are sort of striped with the shades of red, here I have stitched in the brighter of the two and will fill with the darker.  It is hard to tell in my craptastic snaps but the two reds together look rather nice.

I think that about wraps it up for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by, do come again!!!

Take care,

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Christmas Carol

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends thank you all so much for all the kind comments and emails about the Christmas Box I sent to Diana.  The stitching community is so kind and such an ego boost!!!

By the Post Title you might think I'm going to talk about the story by Dickens, again...  not today -  I am sort of short of things stitchity to write about as I am still secret stitching -  I think I will post about a favorite Carol of mine and make it another musical Friday Posting.

I love Christmas music, all kinds from all times, and another favorite pieces of music from the season would have to be "In the Bleak Midwinter."  Here are the King's College Cambridge Choir from 2005 singing this lovely song...

The song is based on a poem written by Christina Rossetti one of the 19th centuries most important poets.  The poem was set to music written by Gustav Holst in about 1904/1906.   If you would like to read a bit more about this song you may click HERE.  Enjoy!!

Thanks for stopping by - do come again!

Take care,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Christmas Exchange Arrived

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends I do thank you for the warm comments and emails about yesterdays posting.  I think it is very important that we always remember the sacrifices both art home and abroad everyone makes and has made for the last 400 or so years.... 

If you recall I took part in the HOE Christmas box Exchange - and I receive a wonderful Box from Michelle.  This morning I heard from my partner that I sent to - Diana from over at Log Cabin Life, she received the Christmas Box I made for her.  Here are a couple of snaps...

I stitched up a Prairie Schooler piece.  Book #32, "Christmas Ark" - using the called for DMC Floss on 32ct linen.  I first painted the unfinished box attached the stitching and then lined it with a green satin like fabric....  and here is the inside and the goodies ...

I really enjoyed stitching this piece as I always do when making something for an Exchange.

Last night I was stitching away on another Exchange piece so no snaps of that piece... yet.

There you go sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do come again!!

Take care,

Memorial Day

  "Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives."   John Adams