Monday, December 30, 2013

December Ornament SAL

I've never participated in a SAL before and I have to say - this was a blast!  Here's my December ornament.  Many thanks to SilverLotus for hosting the SAL.  Next year, she is hosting a Smalls SAL.  What fun!!!

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More (Irish) Finishes

I was inspired to frame some of my stitching that's been sitting waiting for the final touch.  Here are three -




Hmmmmmmm - seems to be a a wee bit o' and Irish theme here.  

Cheers!

HO! HO! HO! Give Away Winner

And the winner is……..LisaMac!  

Lisa, send me your address and I'll get your Nutcrackers out to you.

KimM
spiritoftheheart1@gmail.com

Warm Christmas wishes ~

Monday, December 16, 2013

HO! HO! HO! Reminder…...

Just a reminder I'll draw a lucky winner for the seven Nutcracker charts from Sweetheart Tree tomorrow.  If you haven't entered, you still have time -

Here's how to enter:

* Be or become a Friend aka Follower of this blog-- 5 Entries-**
* Blog about my contest-4 Entries
*Leave a comment under this post-3 Entries
-Winner will be chosen on December 17th.-

~ Warm Winter Wishes from me to you ~

Make an Easy-Peasy Dog Bed - Brilliant!

Our Giant Schnauzer, Bella, is hard on dog beds.  I don't know how many we have gone through in her three years.  If the sticker shock of buying one of the huge beds doesn't make you weak in the knees, carrying one around the house will do the trick in no time flat - they can be heavy.

SIGH.  Bella needed another dog bed and I wasn't looking forward to making the trip to get her one.  What we really needed for her was a dog bed that was (1) washable, (2) sturdy and (3) easily portable.

While putting on my makeup yesterday morning, a thought hit me - why not MAKE her one?  I had plenty of fabric, even a (GASP!) zipper that would work.  I shuddered at the thought of wrestling with one of THOSE.

Enter the brilliant idea:  make the bed with a drawstring - no fussing with a zipper, the insides could be stuffed with old blankets and towels satisfying the "washable" part of the criteria.

Drum roll, please - TA-DA!!  Bella on her new bed.  It took less than an hour to sew up.  She loves it…..and I think Hubby was even amazed.


Cheers!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo…..Tiny is the Way to Go!

About four years ago, I produced and hosted a radio talk show featuring artists of all kinds from around the world.  It was a year-long adventure where I got the opportunity to talk with musicians, film producers, water colorists, composers, ballet dancers, choreographers, painters - it was a wonderful experience.

Althea Crome was one of my guests.  She is an amazing woman who knits "in the little".  Her website, Bugknits, is worth visiting.

Miniatures, Smalls, whatever people call them, have always held a fascination for me.  After my chat with Althea, I wanted SO BADLY to knit one of her patterns.  I ordered the Queen Elizabeth Sweater and finally started to knit the teeny, tiny thing.  Here is a picture of the sleeves:

One day earlier this week, Hubby went to purchase more salt for our lane.  I stayed home to work on the sweater with our Giant Schnauzer, Bella, and our tiny teacup Schnauzer, Emma.  Both dogs were sleeping - I was concentrating so hard on the pattern, I was oblivious to everything around me.  Bella, hearing the garage door go up when Hubby returned, instantly "lit up" and and went into "ALERT! ALERT!  INTRUDER!" mode.   Needless to say, she scared the be-jeebers out of me.  I suddenly had no control of the knitting needles and I instantly poked one through part of my left index finger.  I have to admit, it's kind of sore, but mending. Once the finger stops throbbing, I'll pick up the needles again.  I promise pictures when I finish the sweater.

Cheers!




On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…..an AWESOME Give Away!

Nancy has done it again - a $50 gift certificate from her store.  What a kind, generous lady -
Don't miss out - click here to enter on the Victorian Motto Sampler blog.

Thank you, Nancy!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, Nancy Gave Away…..

Fabric!!  What sticker can't use more fabric?!  Pop over and be sure to enter - tell Nancy I sent you Nancy's Eleventh Day of Christmas Giveaway

Cheers!  And "Good Luck"!

Monday, December 9, 2013

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, Nancy Gave Away…..

A present to you and your friend!  Check this on on Nancy's blog: Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.

Thank you, Nancy, for your generosity.

Friday, December 6, 2013

HO! HO! HO! Give Away from Me to You!

I adore Nutcrackers - and who wouldn't love to stitch up some from Sweetheart Tree?  Each one comes with an adorable charm to add some pazazz.

I have seven to give away -
 Buckingham Guard Chubby Nutcracker, Irish Shamrocks Chubby Nutcracker and "Moon Doggie," the Beach Bum Chubby Nutcracker


Easter Bunny Chubby Nutcracker, January Snow Chubby Nutcracker, "Wild West Sheriff" Chubby Nutcracker and Valentine Hearts Chubby Nutcracker

Here's how to enter:

* Be or become a Friend aka Follower of this blog-- 5 Entries-**
* Blog about my contest-4 Entries
*Leave a comment under this post-3 Entries
-Winner will be chosen on December 17th.-

 ~ Best wishes for a lovely Christmas season. ~

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thistle Threads

OH. MY. GOSH!!

I just discovered the most MARVELOUS website!  Please visit Thistle Threads.  Amazing, amazing!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Restful Peace

It's been almost a month since my last post.  During this time, my dear, sweet mother became severely ill and back in  the hospital.  She struggled valiantly over the months of her illness.  I treasured each minute I spent with her - not only over her 6 month ordeal, but every minute of travel, love, laughter and tears over the years.  She is now at peace and in no more pain.  My grateful heart goes out  to everyone who showed their love, care and support to her through her struggle.  

May the legacy she left of love, true compassion and concern for others continue through my daughter and myself.

Blessings -

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now, Back to Stitching!

I love William Morris's designs.  Beth Russell, inspired by Morris, has created some gorgeous needlepoint designs.  I have several I'm currently working on, but my favorite is finished.   I read this saying from Morris years ago and was thrilled to see it come to life through Ms. Russell's talents.


Here's my October Christmas ornament SAL.  Even got it all completed and ready to hang on the tree!

More stitching to come!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

PRB - Part 4

Now let me tell you a little about Rossetti - he was born in London in May of 1828, the son of an Italian immigrant family.  His father, Gabriel Rossetti, was a famous Italian poet and Dante scholar who had come to England as a refugee after the Neapolitan revolution in 1821.

Rossetti aspired to be a poet and attended King's College School.  However, he also wished to be a painter. He studied at Henry Sass's Drawing Academy from 1841 to 1845 when he enrolled at the Antique School of the Royal Academy, leaving in 1848.  After leaving the Royal Academy, Rossetti studied under Ford Madox Brown before transferring his allegiance to Holman Hunt.  His friendship with Hunt and subsequent meeting with Mallais was the major factor in the creation of the PRB.  Criticism of his paintings caused him to withdraw from public exhibitions and turn to watercolors, which he sold privately.

In the early 1850s he met Elizabeth Siddal.  The twenty-year-old with her tall thin frame and copper hair was the first of the PRB stunners.  She became his lover, and after and on-off relationship, he married her in 1860.

Rossetti made many pencil drawings of Lizzie which were extremely beautiful and sensitive.  In 1862, after the still birth of their child, Lizzie committed suicide by overdosing on laudanum.  Overcome with grief, Rossetti enclosed a small journal in Elizabeth's coffin containing the only copies he had of many of his poems.  He is said to have slid the book into her red hair.  In 1862 he produced the famous picture "Beata Beatrix", a tribute to his deceased wife, who was quite obviously the model for Beatrix.

In 1869, Rossetti had his wife's body exhumed to recover his poems.  The mental problems, which ultimately destroyed him, were most likely to have started from this unhappy and bizarre event.

In the last twenty years of his life, Rossetti became increasingly obsessed with Jane Morris, the wife of his friend William Morris.  For most of these years, his pictures were of lone women.  Most of the pictures had a stylized Jane Morris as their model.  In the 1870s Rossetti became addicted to chloral (a narcotic) and alcohol.  Consequently, Jane Morris broke off their relationship, as he started to lose his reason.

Toward the end of his life, Rossetti sank into a morbid state, darkened by his drug addiction to choral and increasing mental instability.  This was possibly worsened by his reaction to savage critical attacks on his disinterred poetry from the manuscript poems he had buried with his wife.  He spent his last years as a withdrawn recluse.

He died at the house of a friend on Easter Sunday, 1882.  He had gone there in an attempt to recover his health, which had been destroyed by choral as Elizabeth's had been destroyed by laudanum.  He is buried at Birchington-on-the-Sea, Kent, England.

So, what is the connection between Rossetti and William Morris besides Rossetti's attraction to his wife Jane?  Morris founded a design firm with Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones as partners.   And the rest, as they say, is history.

Friday, October 18, 2013

PRB - Part Three

I've been invisible for a few weeks.  Lots happening with Mom - moved her to a different nursing home.  It is AWESOME!  I decorated her room so it's more like her home.  The care, compassion and attention to details by the staff is amazing.  We attend daily mass and she gets her vodka tonic every day at 4PM.  She and my step-father used to have their one drink every day at 4PM before her stroke.  They also attended mass each and every day.  Anything we can do to make her life more familiar is a blessing.

Last time I posted, I shared John Ruskin's support of Lizzie Siddal and also her addiction to laudanum. Now we'll explore the tumultuous relationship between Siddal and Rossetti.

When Rossetti met Lizzie, he was smitten with her beauty.  She was what the PRB called "a stunner".  He began using her exclusively as the model in his paintings beginning in 1853 with his watercolor "The First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice".  After becoming engaged to Rossetti, Siddal began to study with him, becoming both his mistress and his student.

Rossetti, however, was not one to remain faithful to his fiancé.  He reportedly had several affairs during the course of their engagement.  Lizzie was insecure with their relationship and used her frail health (brought on by an addiction to laudanum and a tendency toward anorexia) to repeatedly manipulate Rossetti and regain his attention whenever she believed he had strayed.  Countless times she was considered to be near death.  When Rossetti would get word she was close to death's door, he would rush to her side.  She would miraculously recover once he appeared.

Lizzie and Rossetti made each other indescribably happy as well as sad.  Their marriage was doomed form the start.  Rossetti was reluctant to propose marriage, supposedly in part because of Lizzie's working class background.  Waiting for years for Rossetti to consent to marriage took its toll on Lizzie's health.  Lizzie's supporter, John Ruskin, scolded Rossetti in his letters for not marrying Lizzie and giving her the security she needed.  During this period she also began to write poetry, often with dark themes about lost love or the impossibility of true love.

Siddal travelled to Paris and Nice several years for her health.  She returned to England in 1860 to marry Rossetti.  They were married May 23, 1860.  She lived five minutes away from the small church in Hastings at the time of her wedding.  Though the walk was a short distance, she was so frail she had to be carried to the church.  The marriage to her lover had finally taken place.  By this time her health had degraded to badly, she was severely depressed and very ill.

In 1861, Lizzie became pregnant.  She and Rossetti were overjoyed about the pregnancy.  The pregnancy ended in a stillborn daughter in 1862.  Sadly, shortly after the death of their daughter, Lizzie committed suicide by taking an overdose of laudanum.  She was 32 years old.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

PRB - Part 2


Last week I introduced you to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the “face” of the Pre-Raphaelites, the very first supermodel, Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Siddal. 

John Ruskin was a staunch supporter of Siddal.  He was a well known British art critic and social thinker, also remembered as an author, poet and artist. His essays on art and architecture were extremely influential in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.  The Pre-Raphaelites were influenced by Ruskin's theories. As a result, the critic wrote letters to The Times defending their work, which led to their art finally being accepted in Victorian art circles.

In 1855 Ruskin became Lizzie Siddal’s financial supporter as she struggled to be recognized as an artist and poet. Ruskin paid £150 per year in exchange for all drawings and paintings that she produced. Siddal produced many sketches but only a single painting. Her sketches are laid out in a fashion similar to Pre-Raphaelite compositions and tend to illustrate Arthurian legend and other idealized medieval themes.  During this period Siddal also began to write poetry, often with dark themes about lost love or the impossibility of true love.

Siddal suffered from a ‘mysterious illness’, which is now believed to have been an addiction to laudanum.  It was to prove to be her downfall.

Laudanum was a mixture of opium and alcohol.  It was not dispensed by prescription, and was widely accepted as a ‘cure all’, similar to how aspirin is viewed today.  One could purchase laudanum from a barber, a grocer, or at market stalls.  It was touted to address symptoms of alcoholism, bedwetting, coughs and colds, insanity, morning sickness, nervous tension, muscle fatigue, toothache and was sold to mothers to soothe their babies.  One can see where it would be easy to become addicted to laudanum. 

As an aside, there were many who were dependent on “tincture of opium” – such notables as Walter Scott, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Ornament SAL

Here's my September Christmas ornament!  It was fun - can hardly wait to see the cording and how it finishes ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - Part 1



I gave you an insight into redheads and the ordeals they faced over the centuries last week. Today I'll introduce you to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the “face” of the Pre-Raphaelites, the very first supermodel, Elizabeth Siddal.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (known as “PRB”) was founded in London in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English poets, artists and critics.
They named themselves “Pre-Raphaelite” because they believed the classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art.

The fact Elizabeth Siddal (known as “Lizzie”) achieved such prominence was a remarkable feat given just about everything about her went against the standards of what was popular in Victorian times.  She had flowing, wavy locks of red hair, was tall and slender with large eyes.  In 1849, when she was 20 years old, Lizzie worked as a milliner in London. She made a meager salary of 24 pounds a year but soon discovered she could make more than double as a model for artists.  Being a model during this era was not viewed as socially acceptable.  No woman with morals would consider such a profession.

Lizzie was discovered by Walter Deverell in 1849 and, through him, was introduced to the PRB.  While posing for Millais' Ophelia (1852), Siddal had floated in a bathtub full of water to model the drowning Ophelia. 

Millais painted daily into the winter with Siddal modeling. He put lamps under the tub to warm the water. On one occasion the lamps went out and the water slowly became icy cold. Millais was absorbed by his painting and did not notice the lamps were no longer working. Siddal, however, did not complain and eventually became very sick with a severe cold or pneumonia.

From 1853 on, Lizzie was the primary model for Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  After he met her he began to paint her to the exclusion of almost all other models and he insisted she stop modeling for the other Pre-Raphaelites.  Lizzie was interested in art and showed promise as an artist and poet in her own right.  After meeting Rossetti, she became his student and struggled to be recognized as an artist in a world dominated by men.   

More next time - Happy stitching!  Cheers!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Redheads - OH MY!


My daughter, Sarah, has been blessed with gorgeous red hair and she comes by it rightly.  My grandfather’s nickname was “Red”; when I was young,  my hair was as red as Sarah’s.  (Now it's more gray then red - HA! ).  I have pictures of the two of us when she was small and our hair color was exactly the same.  I remember detesting my red hair as I was growing up.  I wanted to be blonde – you know, “Blondes have more fun!”  My daughter also wished she had different hair until she was in her 20s.  Now she loves it.

A portrait of Sarah I painted on an 8x10 porcelain tile

Throughout history, being a redhead was not necessarily a healthy thing to be.  Redheads have been subjected to discrimination and fearful prejudice, being viewed as untrustworthy, mischievous, temperamental, and lustful. In ancient Egypt, red hair was seen as so unlucky, red-haired girls were burned alive. According to Greek myths, redheads turn into vampires when they die.

In medieval Europe, the infamous witch-hunting manual, Malleus Maleficarum, instructed that red hair and green eyes were marks of a witch, as were freckles (which most redheads are prone to have). This belief might have stemmed from the general consensus that redheads were evil, wanton, and hot-tempered. In the Bible, Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot are often portrayed as redheads, as was Lilith, Adam’s first wife who insisted on sexual equality. Even Jonathan Swift, in his 1726 classic Gulliver’s Travels, characterized redheads as being wanton and promiscuous.

Elizabeth Siddall was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s model in the 1850s until her death in 1862.  Her image is recognized worldwide as the model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  She had glorious red hair which was not considered socially acceptable in the Victorian era.


Beata Beatrix by Rossetti

Over the years, I’ve studied the paintings of Master Artists who have lived through the centuries.  Through this study, their paintings take on more life and meaning as I learn more about their lives and come to understand their trials and tribulations.  

I'll share what I've learned about Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites soon.  It's absolutely FASCINATING!!

What does this have to do with cross stitch and needlework?  Stay tuned ;)

Happy stitching -
Cheers!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Another Finished Piece

I've been a little remiss in blogging the past few weeks.  My mother has been in ICU and the hospital, but now is back at the extended care facility.  She continues to be an inspiration to me.  Her gentle spirit, her determination to get better and her never ending faith continue to humble me.

I had started this project weeks ago and finally have finished and framed the piece.  It reminds me, so much, of my mother.  She has always taken care of others - physically (because she was a wonderful, dedicated nurse), emotionally (because she is a compassionate woman) and spiritually (she always has forgiven those who have hurt her).

It says "We all have enough strength to endure the troubles of others."


Happy stitching - Cheers!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And the Winner is........

Phyllis!  

Please send me your mailing address and I'll pop the dish in the mail to you.

Congratulations and enjoy!

Everyone - keep you eyes peeled for the next give away. ;0)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August Christmas Ornament SAL

Here's my August Christmas Ornament SAL.  It was such a joy - and for such a sweet little boy!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Blogiversary to Me!!

Greetings!
Six months ago today, I started my blog.  I want to celebrate by doing a give away.  Here are the rules:


1) Put a comment on this post and you are entered into  the giveaway.
2) If you are already a follower then your name is put in twice.
3) Put the photograph of this giveaway on your blog and then get another chance.
4) If you blog about this giveaway in a post on your blog then you get another chance.
5) If you are a follower and refer someone to become a follower of my blog, you will get 5 more chances.

Please let me know if you have done any of the above.  Drawing will be September 3rd at 6PM CDT.

Oh!  I guess I should share what I'm giving away.  It's a hand braided Romanian porcelain heart-shaped dish (4.5 inches by 4 inches).  I've painted a traditional European design and embellished with 24KT gold.  Perfect for pins, needles, whatever. 

Good luck - Happy stitching!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From Paris with Love

Here is the pillow I just finished this morning - my first attempt at sewing fringe - and I LOVE it!
The pillow is a gift for a dear friend.  I can hardly wait to give it to her.

Happy stitching - Cheers!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Busy Hands

I wasn't able to post last week, so much going on...but I've been busy stitching and thought I'd share with you.

Do you find angels and cupids as enchanting as I do?  I have a stack of patterns I want to stitch - here are two.  I believe they both can be found at http://ccarinne.canalblog.com.  The blog is in French - and SO lovely.


I just finished stuffing the pillow, now it needs to be stitched closed at the bottom.

This lovely lady will be a 16x16 inch pillow.  I have fringe all set to go - I couldn't resist adding some 'bling' ;).  I've tried to find the blog where I found the free pattern so I can give credit to the designer, but have been unsuccessful.

I originally had the idea of making this purple goodie into a paper weight, but I loved the fabric so much, it grew in size.  Just have to stuff it and sew cording around the outside and it will be complete.  This is one of Lynn B's lovely patterns.

Last, but not least, is a WIP.  I found this enchanting freebie at Papillon Creations.  It rang true with me, especially since my sweet mother's stroke ordeal.  I can hardly wait to finish it.
More later - Happy stitching -
Cheers!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beaded Scissor Fob

For some reason, I've been obsessed with making a beaded scissor fob.  This is my first - pink Czech glass beads, pink pearls, clear crystal beads with silver and rhinestone spacers with a sterling silver charm on the end of an old fashioned shoe.

I know now how I will change what I did on the next one.  It took me over an hour - fighting with the fishing line (it was too long and kept getting crimped up and tangled).  SHRUG.  Never a dull moment.


Happy stitching - Cheers!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Different Finishing Technique

I've been having so much fun trying to figure how to finish another cuff bracelet.  This one is also designed by Orna Willis and is called "The Flower Cuff".

Once again, it was fast, challenging and fun!  I learned some new stitches/stitch designs.  The flower was a blast and I'd never stitched the Jessica before.

I was ready to finish it and remembered I'd ordered some 2 inch aluminum cuffs from Art Beads over a year ago.  They had been sitting in my stash of supplies....hmmmmmm......could I make this work?

Using my sewing machine, I sewed the canvas to a piece of ultra suede, then attempted to glue the piece to the aluminum cuff.  It would NOT stick and I was more than a little upset I had probably ruined the needlework.  Then I remembered I had some E-6000 glue.  Presto-change-O!  It worked like a charm. Using Aleene's Tacky Glue,  I glued another piece of suede on the underside of the cuff to give it a neater finish.

Underside of the Flower Cuff

Trimming the suede was interesting.  I quickly learned regular sewing scissors wouldn't do the precise job I wanted.  I purchased a pair of Singer "DetailPro" scissors and they are AMAZING.  I could get close, make small adjustments when trimming, and the result was superb.

The last step was beading the picot edging.

Now - off to start another one.

Happy stitching - Cheers!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Check Out this Give Away!

Always Smiling  is having a wonderful give away!  Good luck!

I've Got a Secret

I need to thank all of you who comment on my posts, enter my give aways and give such kind compliments and kind words.  Without you knowing, you have given me a cheerful something to look forward to each and every day since the middle of May.  My mother - my best friend, my confidante, and traveling companion, suffered a major stroke.  Without going in to all the details, I was half way across the country visiting our daughter when it happened.  I immediately flew home, praying she would survive until I got to her.  She survived because of the skill of the doctors and the caring nurses and therapists.

She is now in a nursing home and I know she will never be the woman I knew.  She has always been an independent  woman, a career woman, who inspired me throughout my life.  She is now totally dependent on others for everything.  It breaks my heart.  She was always been there for me, all 57 plus years.   Her faith in God is unshakable and strong.  It hurts to see her go through the pain and suffering each and every day, but I am there for her.  Not as much as I'd like, but as much as I can physically and emotionally bare.

In my 20's, I stitched her a pillow (which she still has):  "I loved you as Mother through childhood and youth.  Now I've discovered a wonderful truth - you are also my friend."

My mother stitched few things and what she has done are displayed proudly in our home - and in hers.

I always told her she was "tiny but mighty" and she still is.  I've also always told her "I want to be just like you when I grow up." Her response was always, "Be careful what you ask for."

Anyway, it's been a tough few days.  I want to thank all of you for being so supportive and cheerful as I enter my blog updates.  You have been a ray of sunshine for me - more than you know.

I wish you many more happy and content hours of stitching.

Fondly -
KimM

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Off the Cuff - WHAT?!?!?

OK - I have to admit, I'm a woman who likes jewelry.  Rings, necklaces, bracelets - love to wear it all.  I got hooked on cuff bracelets years ago.  I like how they look and feel when I wear them.

As usual, I was intrigued to find out the history of cuff bracelets.  Because my mind works in strange ways, it dawned on me, there must be a story behind the phrase "off the cuff".  After a bit of searching, I discovered that, back in the days before credit cards, most people weren't allowed credit.  If they did borrow, the debt was written on the cuff of the lender.  When a man would travel from town to town, the livery stable owner would let them put what they owed on credit and would write it on their cuff.  If the traveller owed money to different stables in different towns, he was said to live "off the cuff."

Back to bracelets. People have worn cuff bracelets for thousands of years.  The ancient Egyptians were known for their elaborate and intricate jewelry designs.  In Mayan culture, cuff bracelets were a measure of social class and status and date back to circa 1000 to 1500.  The Greeks wore bracelets on their upper arms, as well as their wrists; Greek and Roman soldiers wore wide leather and metal cuffs around their wrists for protection during battle.  The ancient Celts, Asian cultures and Native Americans also wore cuff bracelets.

Coco Chanel made cuff bracelets chic and a fashion staple in the 1930s.  They can be worn with jeans or a little black dress. Today, there are so many glorious designs, it's hard to choose.

I got brave.....and stitched my own.  Here is a needlepoint cuff done in wool and metallic threads:


And here is a cuff I just finished.  It's a kit from Orna Willis, called "Nightshade".  It was fun, fast and challenging!  I had quite the time figuring out how to do the beading on the edges, but once my brain clicked in, it was a snap.  Can hardly wait to stitch up the next one.

I'm currently working on doing the finishing on a needlepoint bracelet of a gold snaffle bit.  I'm making it up as I go, will post a picture when I have it done.

Happy stitching - Cheers!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Ornament SAL

Here is my July Ornament SAL from a complimentary design by Michelle Latzen called Santa Paw provided by Stitchy Kitty.  I added red beads to the sweater - Can hardly wait to make it into an ornament!


Hmmmmmm.......what ornament to stitch for next month?!

Happy Stitching - Cheers!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spotted Hare Complete, Another WIP and Emma

I finished stitching the coussinet biscournu (I'm doing a HAPPY DANCE).  Can hardly wait for the finishing instructions.

I'm working on a pair of Flip Swaps, designed by Sandy Arthur.  They are fun, interchangeable straps that fit onto sandals marketed as Switchflops.  Hopefully I'll get these completed before the sandal season is over.  But there's always next year or a vacation in a warm climate in December.  :)

On a sillier note, we have a delightful five pound teacup white chocolate schnauzer named Emma.  She is as mischievous  as she is cute.  We should have named her Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.  Whenever I see her bouncing around the house, the following chant comes to mind: "The most wonderful things about Tiggers, are Tiggers are wonderful things.  Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs!" She has a crooked smile that makes us laugh every time we look at her.

Little Emma has her own car seat we tether her harness in on the console of our Escape.  She LOVES rides.

Here she is in a sweater I knitted for her.  You can't see it well, but there are ruffles on the back of the sweater and faux pearls around her neck - because every girl needs a black dress and pearls.  HA!


Yes, she's spoiled.

Happy Stitching - Cheers!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Just Nan's "Queen of the Needle" Give Away Winner

I could barely contain myself about this give away.  I absolutely LOVE this sampler pattern.  It's so elegant and tasteful.

And the winner is.......(drum roll, please)......

KAYE from Kitten Stitching

Congratulations, Kaye!  Please email me your mailing address (spiritoftheheart1@gmail.com) and I will get your goodies out to you.

P.S.  I'm already cooking up another give away - this is just too much fun!!

Happy Stitching - Cheers!