Thursday, August 27, 2009


While we were in Jackson Hole Wyoming, we celebrated my birthday at a yummy Mexican restaurant called The Merry Piglets. Although being on vacation was celebration enough :)

Sometimes I wonder why I am so blessed. Sure I've had my share of trials and grief, but somehow the blessings always seem to outweigh them over time. God is good all the time!

Just look at the lovely gifts I received from my sister-in-law, Joy! Wow! The skeleton keys and tomato pincushion are both great additions to my collections. She bought the little vintage sack on vacation and stamped "blessings" on it for me. And that sweet heart is made of vintage feedsack. I was admiring a feed sack on her dry sink, another vacation purchase. When low and behold, guess what was in my birthday gift?! My very own feedsack!

Isn't it great? Even the patches are patched! I really admire living in a culture when things were patched again and again rather than throwing it into the garbage and buying something new... The intentions are to use it for future projects, but it will be awfully hard to cut something up when someone worked so hard to keep it together! Joy and I were teased quite a bit by our husbands and sons who couldn't quite see the beauty that we saw, but she and I share the same vision of treasures :)

This is another very special treasure - my Mother-in-law's pincushion from when she was a little girl. Isn't it sweet?! I'll treasure it always!

And look at this amazing treasure! A papercutting by the awe-inspiring talent of Beth Twist of Heartstring Primitives. I absolutely love her papercuttings, they have such a wonderful antique feel perfectly set off by vintage frames. And her cross stitch designs are awfully special as well :)

My husband and sons spoiled me as well - a new audio book. It's been downloaded to my ipod and will be perfect for listening to while I stitch on my commute to work...

And a piece of jewelry that I've been drooling over for some time:
I love it's simplicity and I love skeleton keys. I think of all that it can represent - key to my heart, key to my faith and a reminder of all the "keys" that I have made for TDIPT this year...

I hope that each of you have blessings that outweigh your trials and grief, too.
Blessings, Patti

Friday, August 21, 2009

These are a few of my favorite...

Patriotic finishes from over the years.

I find that I stitch a lot of patriotic cross stitch and wool applique designs during the summer. It's hard to believe that this summer is coming to a close. School starts on Monday and so I decided that it was time to pack away my patriotic decorations until next summer. But before I did, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you...

This was my finish for this summer - a wool applique kit by Maggie Bonanomi. This piece went on both vacations this summer - what a great souvenir :)

I always add a ticking tag on the back of my wool mats to remind me of when and where I made them.

Isn't it interesting? Some pieces you stitch and love forever - the one above is from 1999.

This mat is from the very first class that I took with Maggie Bonanomi many years ago and was my first mat finish.

This piece (or actually three) was stitched on 32 count over one and won a ribbon at the National Counted Cross Stitch Show in Rockome Gardens many years ago.

Another Maggie Bonanomi class - can you tell I'm a fan ;)

Oops - another favorite, but hard to see from the flash.

Has it really been 11 years since I stitched this piece? Oh my stars!

This one took quite some time to stitch. But was certainly worth it! I love the combed frame.

I finished this Maggie Bonanomi piece this year as well and made it into a bell pull.
Well, it is time to pack these items away. Tomorrow I will pull out my early fall decorations - maybe I can share those next week...
Blessings, Patti

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm back! :)

Wow! What a perfect vacation we had in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Jackson, Wyoming! The only research I did was reading on the plane ride going there. I didn't know much about what we were about to see.

Yellowstone definitely is surreal ~ sometimes you wonder if you are still on earth...

As you can see ~ I love photographing landscapes. I had to remind myself to take photos of my family every now and then.

I bought a photo album that holds 200 photos. I'm having a tough time purging the 680 that I took :)

A friend recommended that I buy a few more albums, but I rather have a smaller album of only my best photos. Besides how many photos of geysers can I force my friends to look at...
I really enjoy staying in the national park lodges - no t.v., no computer - just quality family time.
We saw a lot of wildlife - bison, elk, grizzlies, black bears, coyotes...
I really wanted to see a moose and trumpeter swan, but to no avail...
There were wonders everywhere we looked.

It was amazing to see snow on the Grand Tetons in the middle of August. (remember, I'm a flatlander from Illinois :)
We did a lot of hiking and enjoyed a full day white water rafting trip.

I loved this little chapel.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! -Philippians

How can you not rejoice when you see his wonders all around us.
And look what we found on the side of the road on the way to the airport?!
A pair of trumpeter swans! My own little miracle!
We arrived home and had just enough time to unpack, do laundry and hit the road again... This time to visit my parents in central Illinois - the heart of Amish country.

I am so terribly behind and overwhelmed - professionally (in my real job as an accountant), personally (all the catch up housework and getting ready for school to start) and creatively (with deadlines and commitments).

Actually, I think the visit to my parents was just what I needed. There is something about the clip clop of the horses hooves steadily pulling the carriages. It reminds me to take a deep breath, set my priorities, and accomplish one task at a time. Most especially, don't forget to slow down and take a moment to rejoice.

Blessings, Patti