God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Evil Blogger

I really don't want to post anything negative, but I have come to believe that Blogger is the devil.  I have not been able to delete blogs from my reading list for several months now.  A follower informed me today that when I leave a comment on her blog, I'm showing up as a no-reply blogger.  I can only assume this is happening when I leave comments on other blogs as well.  When I went to my profile to fix this, nothing has changed ... I am still showing that people can respond to my comments using my email address.  As if this isn't enough, I tried leaving a comment on one of my own posts in order to see if I would show up as a no-reply blogger on my own blog.  What happens instead is my comment posts immediately to my blog even though I have "always" checked for moderation purposes.  

I don't know what to do about this.  Of course you can't contact anyone at Blogger.  I've left questions on their forum in the past without any help at all. I've just searched to see if I can switch my entire blog over to some other blog hosting site without losing my past 2-1/2 years' worth of postings, photos & comments.  Apparently not   : (

Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

His Unfailing Love

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy & be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14

God sent me a sign of His unfailing love for me this morning!

Here is a view out back.
Snow!  Wonderful, marvelous, glorious snow!  What a wonderful gift from Him!  I took these photos at about 9 a.m.  It's 1:30 now & there really isn't much grass showing anymore   : )   I was so thrilled when I woke up this morning & saw it snowing that I turned my recliner around while I had my morning study & prayer time!  
Can you see Sophie there in the recliner, looking outside so intently?  Here's what she's so interested in!  Male & female cardinals, chickadees, Gregory Peck-er (our Red-bellied woodpecker), Robert Downy Jr. Jr. (our Downy woodpecker), finches, & sparrows.  Unfortunately the titmice & mourning doves were camera shy.  I guess they thought they were having a bad feathers day   : )














 





I am feeling much better ... I'd say about 95 percent   : )   I'd like to say thank you once again to everyone who sent me good wishes & prayers ... they were very much appreciated!  I've accomplished some stitching during my down time & lately I've been trying to do a little bit of putting away/decluttering/reorganization each day. Christmas is still here a little bit.  The stitched ornaments are still hanging on the tree which John & I continue to light it up each night.  There are still a few decorations on tables or counters, & I'm sure anyone passing by the house at night or in the early morning wonders why the pine tree in the front yard is still lit with Christmas lights. They're not lit in this photo I took earlier, but you can see that they're still there   : )
I guess I'll spend the rest of this week putting away the remainder of the decorations ... sigh!  Well, per my Christmas countdown counter today there are only 337 days until next Christmas   : )

While I was putting away a few decorations the other day, Sophie decided to help me by flopping herself down on the papers I was using to wrap some things.  
It looks like I have many signs of God's unfailing love for me today ... snow, birds, returning health, & a helpful kitty!  I am very blessed indeed   : )  

I have much to share with you on the stitching front, the stashing front, & a last bit of Christmas. I will do that, or at least a part of it, next time.

Wishing you a day filled with joy!

Friday, January 10, 2014

He Keeps A-Knockin' But He Can't Come In

First of all, I want to thank all of you who left such kind comments on my post yesterday regarding your concern for my health & offering your prayers.  I am not feeling up to answering everyone individually & hope you will understand me not being able to do so.  This illness, whatever it is, really hangs on!  I usually toss off a cold or the flu pretty quickly, but not this time.  I read blogs while making cups of tea but haven't felt up to commenting on any.  Again I hope you will understand.  As of this morning I am, I think, feeling a tad better.  I managed to do a bit of stitching yesterday but mostly I slept a lot.  Sleeping is probably a good thing to do.

Thank you again for your prayers & concern.  I really appreciate them.   

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two Old Friends

Two of my old friends, DayQuil & NyQuil, have come to visit me this week.  They actually arrived last week to visit my husband, then decided to stay on & spend some time with me.  That was nice of them beings that I'm sick & all   : (   John actually came down with a terrible cold last week.  I avoided him as much as possible but his pesky little germs found me anyway.  I keep opening my eyes each morning thinking I'll surely feel better today, but then I get up & the room spins & my nose runs & I hack up a lung.  I'm drinking lots of fluids & trying to stitch but can't count how many times I've had to frog my current project which is something I haven't shared with you yet.  I did finish stitching my Dames of the Needle ornament with the exception of the back stitching.  Even I know better than to try to tackle back stitching when I'm feeling like this. It's almost like this cold is attacking my brain cells.  I actually wrote an email to Marly yesterday asking her if she used the colors suggested by the designer for the Heartstring Samplery Christmas Band Sampler she posted or did she use some other colors.  She was rather confused ... was I talking about the freebie she posted?  I didn't think the band sampler was a freebie design.  It was then that I realized it wasn't even her blog where I saw the sampler posted!!!  Yep, the brain cells are at dangerously low levels indeed! 

Time for me to crawl back to my recliner & sip some tea.  Hopefully I will be a picture of health when I visit with you again.    

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hacked Again!

If you received an email from me ... it went to a group of stitchers ... with a link included, delete it right away & definitely do not click the link!   I don't know if it's Yahoo or what, but I've been hacked again   : (  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

To Hoop/Q-Snap/Scroll Frame, or Not to Hoop/Q-Snap/Scroll Frame

That is the question.  I  have been having a bit of a dilemma regarding my stitching as of late & have faced this dilemma from time to time in the past.  My dilemma doesn't actually concern the stitching itself as much as it does the hoop, Q-Snap, or scroll frame I am using.  I don't use hoops.  Never liked them.  I have various sizes of Q-Snaps which I have been using for all my projects but they can present many a problem.  I always cut a larger piece of fabric than I need for a design in order to make it fit securely into the Q-Snap.  This often results in quite a bit of fabric waste.  Also, the Q-Snap clips do not always hold the fabric tightly enough so I am continually twisting them in order to keep the fabric taut.  The clips can also squash & distort the stitches if you need to move your fabric around.  This can be remedied by putting a piece of quilt batting between the fabric & the clips, but then you have the problem of little bits of batting fluff coming loose & being caught in the stitches. The clips themselves can also damage your fabric if you aren't careful, & attempting to press out the corner wrinkles left by them can be impossible.  (I do not leave my fabric in my Q-Snaps when I'm not stitching so this does not contribute to the wrinkling problem.)  I had a scroll frame in Stitching Life #1 but sold it after my insane no more cross stitching decision in Stitching Life #2.  I do remember the scroll frame being a bit awkward to use though.  I've never used a frame of any kind with a lap or floor stand.  
I know there are stitchers who don't use any sort of hoop or frame at all ... they just hold the fabric in their hand & joyfully stitch away.  I really like that idea, but how in the world can you keep your stitches even & untwisted & not distort the fabric in any way?  


Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow (Really!), a Cardinal, an SAL Update, & a Goal for 2014

It was very gray & overcast yesterday ... a perfect day for staying in bed.  It started out raining, but by mid afternoon it began to snow!!!  Well, I don't have to tell you that I was one very happy camper when I saw that happening!  It also became very windy for a while making the snow fall sideways!  I took this photo from the front porch late yesterday afternoon.

Before I went to bed, I decided to turn on the porch light & take a look out back.  I was thrilled to see huge flakes of snow coming down!  Here's what the above view looked like at 8 o'clock this morning!
I have been smiling so much that my face is hurting!!!  We have been imprisoned living here in The Devil's Playground for 5 years now & this is the very first time we've had snow that doesn't look like God opened up a talcum powder can & shook it over the grass a bit.  I can't see grass anywhere! 

I mentioned how windy it was yesterday afternoon.  Just look at this poor cardinal battling the wind when he came by to get a bite to eat!



Yesterday was my Snow Angel SAL day with Sally.  Thanks to everyone who suggested using one strand of floss over 2 on the 
36-count fabric.  I gave it a try & really liked how it looked, so I took out the stitches I did on New Year's Day with 2 strands (all 16 of them ... lol!) & started again using one.  I am really enjoying this project!  In fact, as I started to put it away last night, I regretted that I wouldn't be able to continue stitching it today !  Here is yesterday's progress.  
Tonight I will be adding perhaps not the last, but close to the last stitches in my Dames of the Needle ornament.

Last New Year's Eve I shared the following Resolve with you & I've decided to share it again.  I think it's a wonderful plan to incorporate into our lives   : ) 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It Was A Wonderful Christmas & It's Not Going Anywhere Yet

I realize that many people take their decorations down the day after Christmas or shortly thereafter.  Although I can understand the reasoning behind this, I personally don't want to end the season early.  What I haven't understood, until this year, are the people who put their trees up on Christmas Eve.  Why so late?  Well, I learned a bit more about the 12 Days of Christmas this year.  I've always known that the 12 Days begin on December 25th & end January 6th.  However, I did not know that people originally celebrated the 12 days by giving gifts on January 6th ... the date when the church celebrates the wise men giving gifts to the Christ child.  That sounds kind of nice, doesn't it   : )   I did a bit of research & discovered that Latin American Christians in particular extended the 12 days to 40 days, ending the celebration of Christmas with Candlemas on February 2nd!  Candlemas is the celebration of Jesus being presented in the temple.  He is celebrated as the Light of the World & thus candle services are held on that day to commemorate this.  People would put up their Christmas decorations on Christmas Eve & leave them up until Candlemas.  I do not know if this practice continues, but I found an interesting poem written sometime in the 17th century by Robert Herrick which refers to it.  The poem is called "Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve" & begins as follows ...

"Down with the rosemary, & so
Down with the bays & mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas Hall."

I think that's pretty cool!  Of course I've always enjoyed the history behind things so I enjoy learning stuff like that   : )

Our tree & decorations are still up & will remain up until at least the 6th.  I've been promising to share some photos of our tree so you can see my stitched ornaments, & here they are.

















I fear I probably haven't captured all of them, but hopefully you've seen the majority. There are a few ornaments that I stitched last year & the year before which I will be getting rid of before next Christmas.  I just don't like them anymore so why have them on my tree?  I will either give them away or use them for cat toys or something ... I'm not sure yet.  I do plan to stitch many others to take their place though   : )

Speaking of cats, did you spot Sophie in the background in one of the tree photos?  She is across the room right now, sleeping curled up in a decorative vintage chair rather than on the heating vent for some reason.  She looks so cute ... I leaned quietly over the table & took a picture to share with you.
Yesterday Sally & I started our SAL ... Lone Elm Lane's Snow Angel design.  We took a few stitches to start the new year, but our regular day to stitch this design will be Thursday.  I am using the fabric & floss suggested by the designer, but I might replace the fabric.  It's 36-count & she suggests stitching it over 2 with 2 strands of floss.  However, to me this appears to be a bit too much floss for this count of fabric. Then again, maybe not.  I will put in some more stitches today but may end up frogging & ordering a different count ... maybe 32, maybe 40.  Here's my start.  Look closely or you might miss it ... lol!  
If you are also going to stitch this design, there are 2 pattern corrections you need to know about.  I posted about them back in October.  Click here to view that posting.

Wishing you a wonderful second day of 2014!