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A little blog about my big loves; family, friends, stitching and yep, chocolate!

Chocolate Loving Followers!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

How do You Build a House?

Dear friends,

Happy day!  I am so glad you've stopped by.

I am happy to report that construction on the big, beautiful, yellow house has begun.
I'm sorry to report that it hasn't been without its complications.
Do construction projects ever go smoothly?  
It has taken days for the roofer to complete her work but I'm happy to say that the roof is ON!

The window installers were the next to show up.  Awesome, isn't it, how a roof and windows can be installed without any supporting structure?  Sadly, the window installer didn't pay attention and hung the double paned windows too far to the right so they had to be removed and replaced.

The installer was pretty upset but what can you do?  I asked if she counted.  

She insists she did.
Said she counted twice.
Said she was sure she counted correctly.
She didn't.

Finally, the 2nd batch of windows were hung and lit.

How do you build your homes?  Do you start at the bottom, layering brick upon brick to build a solid supporting structure?
Maybe you put the roof on first and work from top to bottom, like I do.
Or maybe you start in the middle and work over to one side and then do the other side?
Clearly, there are many ways to build a home and no one way is better than another.

The important thing is to do as I say, not as I do.
(pretty sure I learned that from my momma)


I love houses on samplers, I just don't love the construction process.  Do you?
Same thing goes for grass.  I love grassy fields and yards.  I love the way they look, I don't like how long it takes for them to grow!  The grass hasn't quite taken root yet but the Christmas vine is growing and the berries are blooming.  Love it!

I would love a house that looks just like this.  I can imagine the light filled rooms, the gorgeous, Georgian furniture and the carriage house that is surely in the back.  I'm sure there are spectacular gardens and beautiful hills and views to set your heart aflutter.   sigh……

Oh, yes.  I could be happy in my beautiful, yellow, Christmas house.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving a note for me, when you have a second or two.  For me, and all bloggers, they are greatly appreciated.   If you're a new visitor, and especially if you're a new visitor with a blog, please leave me a note so that I may also visit you.

A short blog post.  At least by my standards.

Be well.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Yuletide Welcome in January

Hello, friends!

I am just back from Florida where I was visiting my folks for a few days.  It was very cool for the Florida area but the sun was shining, the skies were bright and it felt much warmer than the cold 18 degrees it was in Michigan.  

Here's my sweet dad using the selfie stick we got him as a stocking stuffer.

Here's my momma outside their favorite breakfast spot.

I got the sampler that my Rob gave me for Christmas, back from the framer.  I stitched it to linen, being careful not to disturb any of the threads or to further damage the areas that were missing.  
It is now framed using all conservation materials, with museum glass and spacers and I hope it will now last another 200 years.  
Isn't she pretty?

Before I left for Florida, I started work on a Yuletide Welcome by Plum Street Samplers.
I've made decent progress but didn't stitch at all while I was in Florida so am happy to be back home and working on it again.
Here is my progress as of last night:

Love the colors!

I should be able to start on the big house in the next few days.

This is such a fun piece and I'm really enjoying working on it.
It's Christmas but it's subtle.  I really think I could leave it out all year long.
I may have to change the "Yuletide Welcome" to just a field of grass.
Maybe I could add some critters in the grass.
A couple of reindeer, maybe?
A few more peacocks, perhaps?

I'll decide when I get there.

On my trip home from Florida, I had to take the tram from one terminal to the other.
I only carried one bag and it wasn't all that heavy but I did have to schlep it around.
I got on the tram, dropped my bag and held onto the hand rail.
Then it happened.
"Ma'am, please, sit here."
A young man (probably in his late teens, early twenties) stood up and asked me to take his seat.
Are you kidding me?
I don't need to sit.  I am perfectly capable of keeping my balance and holding on.
"Keep your seat young man.  I'm fine."
He insisted and was on his feet in a flash and had moved out of the way so I could have his seat.
Yep, it has finally happened.
I'm now one of the women that folks think they have to give up their seat for.
I could have cried but at the same time I was pleased that such a young man had such nice manners.
There is hope.

Be well my friends and if you're in the path of the storm, stay warm and safe.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!

Day 1 of 2016 and so much to look forward to!  I hope the coming year is healthy and happy for you!

I have a lot to show you!

I got the Barbara Anna, Love Never Fails sampler back from the framer and gave it to Rob for our 25th anniversary, back in November.  

I know… what's a man want with a sampler?  
But this was significant for a few reasons.
First (and probably most important), I didn't wait until the last second to come up with a gift idea.  Second, I actually remembered to get something.
Three, it's a gift that took time.  
Here it is:

I've given the details previously but it's stitched on 35 count Tin Roof by WDW, with the called for fibers.  I made a few modifications to the pattern, to make it personal.  I love how it turned out and this may be one of my all time favorite stitches. I chose a more rustic, less feminine frame that has just a hint of blue in it.  

Rob liked it too.  I think.  What else could he say???

For Christmas, I got some amazing gifts:

A lovely, sweet, antique sampler, stitched in 1820 by Maria Beckett, gifted to me by Rob.  
There are a few holes in it but it is really lovely.  
The top left is the front of the sampler and the bottom right is the back.  
She was a neat stitcher, wasn't she? 
I believe this is stitched with silk threads as they have quite a sheen to them.  

A timely verse for the New Year, wouldn't you agree?

If Happiness be your pursuit
Plant Virtue and Content's the fruit.

I have to admit, I was a bit leery when I opened the package so I took it out of the frame to inspect.  
I was afraid Rob might have been hoodwinked.

As it turns out, it wasn't EXACTLY as described - it wasn't mounted using conservation framing and in fact, it was behind PLEXIGLAS otherwise known as plastic (yikes), WITHOUT spacers and was simply sitting on a similar colored piece of linen (that hadn't been ironed) so the holes weren't as visible as they might otherwise have been.  
I took it out of the frame, cleaned it up as gently as I could, and gently sewed it to another piece of linen making sure to not disturb or break any of the threads in the already sparse areas.

  I have a new frame ordered and it will be mounted properly when the frame arrives.
I'll show you when it's all complete.

Little pink houses and a sweet verse - what's not to love?

"Little pink houses for you and me."

Rob also got me this:

Yes!  Betty Ring's Girlhood Embroidery. 

 I have read about 1/4 of the first book.  
I'm trying to take in all the information and am trying to become as knowledgeable as I can about this
art form that we all love.

These books are inspiring, to say the least, and I've wanted them for a long time.

I know what you're thinking and yes, yes he is!

My final finish for 2015, on the evening of the 31st, was the Mystery Sampler by 
With Thy Needle and Thread.

I stitched this pretty, little piece with all the called for fibers but I did change the alphabet from 
beige to cranberry.
I had the entire alphabet stitched but it just didn't show up so I frogged and restitched.

If I'd known in advance I might do this, I would also have stitched the straight borders around the flowers in cranberry too but I'm not frogging and redoing all that.  You may want to do that should you decide to stitch this using the cranberry letters.

I had a couple of parties over the holidays and they were lots of fun.  
Getting ready for a party is always stressful, no matter what and these were no exception.  
I do bring a lot of it on myself, though.
For instance, I was having some of our guild members over on Saturday.
On Friday, while I was getting ready, Rob calls and says we should go get our flu shots.
It was a pretty day, unseasonably warm for Michigan, so I thought, hmmm, that seems like a good idea. It won't take long and I doubt too many folks will be lined up on this pretty day, so why not.

Here's why not: you might get distracted.

I went to get the shot but they weren't giving them that Friday.
As I was driving home, down a road with deep farm lots, I saw a pine tree with two BIG broken branches laying on the ground.  

I drove past and then thought hmmmm… those would make a great garland.

I turn around, look around and seeing not a soul, I broke off a few branches and tossed them in the trunk (or boot) of the car.
Whew!  Nobody saw me.  At least nobody pointed a rifle at me.

I got in the car, started to drive off and then, stupidly, I decided, 
what the heck.
Why not just load the branches (9 or so feet tall of them) into the car.  The trunk was already full with the big branches I'd broken off of these big suckers so I loaded them in the back of Rob's car.

Yes.  He was thrilled when he found out.  

Driving home, I was getting quite a few looks.  I'm sure they were thinking,
"That's the ugliest Christmas tree I've ever seen" or that's the dumbest lady, ever.  Not sure.

Matt had to help me get them out of the car.  It's a lot easier to jam them in than it is to pull them out.
Believe me.

But, I knew they would make a lovely garland for over the garage and would be worth the minimal effort it would take.

How hard could it be?
Harder than it looks, believe me.

How long could it take to make a garland long enough to cover the width of a 2 car garage?
Not long, right?


It takes hours.

Literally, hours.

It took hours that I should have spent cleaning the house, readying for the party.

Instead, I spent a ridiculous amount of time making the garland and hanging that darn thing.

I hope the folks that live in the house from where I got stole these, weren't planning to use them.
I feel kind of bad.  
Kind of.

Anyway, it turned out really pretty, the house was still in pretty good shape for our gathering, if you didn't look too closely, and I didn't get shot in the process so all was well.  

I don't recommend taking large branches from a yard but this did turn out really pretty.  
Plus, there was the added benefit of Rob's car still smelling like pine for a week.  

So… what's up for 2016?  I think I'm finally going to stitch Paulette's (Plum Street Samplers) "A Yuletide Welcome" which you can read about here:

this is the pic from her blog.  It is a gorgeous piece.

I love everything about it!  The house, the santa and the sleigh with the sunflower and that reindeer!  

 I'm anxious to get started!

That'll be my big project and then I'll throw in a few smaller pieces that catch my fancy as I move throughout the year.  
Not exactly a structured plan but it is a flexible plan.

My little family has made their wishes for 2016 and I hope that you have made yours.  
I hope all of our dreams and wishes, and all of your dreams and wishes, come true this coming year.

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my ramblings. 

Thank you too for the lovely comments from my last post.  
It's so sweet of you to take the time and it is appreciated more than you realize!


Be well,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Total Hodge Podge

Edited to add - sorry for the funky font colors… no idea what's going on with that.  I've tried to fix it a couple of times but it's taking too long and I'm tired.  I'm going to bed.  Good night, all!

Dear friends, 

I started this post when I was in Florida.  But, I am restarting it now, back home in Michigan.  I just couldn't seem to get it done.  So much has been happening.  I've been so busy and have a lot of changes coming up in our lives that we are beginning to prepare for.  My parents are going to be moving to Michigan to live with Rob and me, in the Spring.  We will do some renovations on the house to make it comfortable for all of us.  I am excited that they are coming - it will be a big change for all of us but one that I think will be a blessing for us, too.  I think it's a good decision and am happy that we are able to do it.  My Rob will be good for my dad (golf, beer, sports) and I think my doggies and I will be good for my mom.  The boys, whenever they're around, will be good for everyone!

How about some stitch pics???


You may recognize these as Birds of a Feather; Love, Honesty, Loyalty and Patience.  I put my initials on one and Rob's and the boys on the others.   It was a long time ago that I stitched these and I didn't make a record but I believe they're stitched on 32 count (no idea of the linen color) with two threads, using the called for fibers.  I could be wrong about all of that however so if you decide to stitch them, don't hold me to any of the specifics.  
I took this pic a couple of weeks ago when I was in Florida.  There are no flowers blooming in Michigan, right now!

The next piece I had taken to stitch while I was there is another one I started long ago.  It is the With Thy Needle and Thread mystery sampler.  When I initially stopped working on this, I had made a mistake somewhere and got so frustrated, I just tossed the whole thing aside.  When I went back to stitching it I couldn't find the original mistake!  I know it was there, and I was certain I knew where it was, but when I started working on it again I couldn’t find it.  Cue the Twilight Zone music: Doo do, do doo.  I searched, counted, examined and searched some more but couldn’t find it so I gave up and just started stitching.  I thought I would finish this while in Florida but I didn't get much stitching done whilst there. 
Here is my progress so far but I hope to finish this soon.


You may notice some of the alphabet letters are in a deep scarlet while others are not.  I am frogging the ones that are not scarlet and will be re-stitching them.  The red letters are going to give the sampler a bit bolder look, but I think I'll like it.  I stitched another sampler years ago that used a tone on tone alphabet and I really regret not changing the floss color on that one.  I thought the suggested color would grow on me but you can't really see it at all so I’m gonna change it, so I don’t regret it.  

The very day I flew into Florida, I attended a small Halloween party at my parent's clubhouse.  Because I had to come up with costumes and transport them as well, they had to be easily transportable, cheap and easy to assemble.  A quick internet search for 3 person costumes and here we are:

 The 3 Blind Mice:
Easy? Check.  Cheap? Check. Transportable? Check.  Cute? Double check!

 I think my dad looks pretty bad ass.  Don 't you?


My sister went as the farmer's wife who cut off our tails!

I also attended a Trunk or Treats at their church and assumed that everyone decorated their trunks (boots in the UK, I think) like we do in Michigan.  I was wrong.  We were the only car decorated but we were also the hit of the event.   I built the cardboard house from moving boxes someone in the sub was tossing.  I got it all done the night before the big event after working on it in un-Godly heat and humidity.  I had it set up in the driveway and was completely devastated when I got up the next morning and the entire thing had collapsed.

Completely Collapsed. 

Damn humidity. 

  Honestly, the humidity was ridiculous and the whole thing was a mushy, crumpled mess. 
I almost cried.  Instead, I hauled it all out into the yard, laid it flat, let it dry out and got it reassembled about 20 minutes prior to trunk or treats that evening.  It turned out pretty well for a first time effort and a non-architect type!  It was quite the challenge getting it into the car but I did it and all went well.

That's my sister, Cheryl, and my mom and dad in the upper left and I'm in the pic on the lower right.  The "house" looked great as night fell and the car lights illuminated the windows.

Back to stitching.

Merry One, by Paulette of Plum Street Samplers, is finished!  I took this little piece to Florida, hoping to find some inspiration for finishing.  Instead, I found a new frame molding that was perfect!  I got it framed while I was there and then gifted it to my sis. I thought the frame was perfect.

I can't remember the color of linen - it's a kind of green and on my monitor, the color looks very true to the fabric.  I had to change some of the colors of the fibers to work better with the fabric but I just pulled them from stash and didn't make notes.  I got the kit from Dyeing to Stitch in VA Beach.  If you can't get this one, they do have some wonderful, exclusive clubs you might be interested in.  Check them out!

I've invited my guild members over to my house on Saturday.  I've got the house decorated and I'm excited to have this beautiful, talented group of women come to my home.   Here's one of my small trees that I hope they'll enjoy seeing.  It's decorated with my vintage (and not so vintage) tomato pin cushion collection.  I think this may become a tradition, I like it that much. Whenever I find these old tomatoes, I keep them just as they're found with all the pins in them which is what makes them so charming, I think.  

You may have to look closely to see Gracie on the left, and Sophie on the right, in the chairs.

Thank you so much for stopping by and especially for leaving a note, when you can.  I love reading your comments and truly do appreciate that you take the time to let me know you stopped by!

Be well.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear friends,
So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks.  
I’ve been stitching, I’ve been traveling and I’ve been shopping.  
This first picture combines stitching (not mine) and shopping.  
I saw this sweatshirt in a shop in Traverse City, Michigan last week and picked it up to buy it because, why wouldn’t I, right?  
It is perfect – the stitching is lovely, the design is pretty.
Yeah, the sweatshirt color itself isn’t one of the prettiest shades of gray (LOL) but the colors pop on it and I could live with it.  
Wait for it.  
The price.
Can you see the ticket?

The sweatshirt was $189.00 US$.  Yes, I'm serious.
I mean, it was a SWEATSHIRT.  Not, a sweater. 
GRAY sweatshirt.  
The cross stitch was pretty, and I can imagine that some poor girl in a horrible environment got less than $10 (that’s being optimistic) to make it but I couldn’t buy it.  
Would you have bought it?

I finished this sweet, little Santa and reindeer from Plum Street Samplers.

The pattern is Merry One.
The fabric is LL Green Pear and it is much more green than the photo is showing.  
The darker fabric means I had to change some of the fiber colors.
Nothing drastic, just a tad darker in shade and randomly pulled from stash.

I don’t fancy myself a finisher but I’ll give it a go this weekend and maybe, I’ll let you see how it turns out.  Maybe.  

Rob and I took a mini vacay and visited Mackinac Island,
Traverse City, Petoskey and several other small towns and wineries.
Lots of wineries and micro breweries.  There are a lot of them in Northern Michigan.
We visited a few.
Mmm hmmm.

Here are a few pics from our trip for you to gander at.

Some antiques from a beautiful store owned by a beautiful woman from France (is there any other kind?).  A little, wooden piano and baby bank (never seen anything like it),  an antique sampler that was very inexpensive but it wasn't the finest work and the colors are a bit bright and an old game.  

At the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. 

In Petoskey and biking around Mackinac Island.

Stone piles all over the island, in town for dinner, a selfie (you can see why I hate them), and our beautiful room.

We had a grand time.

Have you seen Paulette's  THE SUNDAY MYSTERY SAMPLER?
Paulette is doing another Christmas SAL!  
And, guess what?  

It’s free.
Yep, free.  

And, it’s the 12 days of Christmas.
Twelve, TWELVE little ornies, stitched together or separately
all free and all designed by Paulette.

What’s not to love?
I'm so excited!
 Clich HERE for all the details.

I can’t wait to do this one and now I have the perfect thing to hang them on!  You see, a last stop store in Petoskey was having a closing for the season sale.  

This was a display item but I just knew I needed it forSOMEthing so I asked if they'd sell it to me.  The gal working in the store called the owner and she said I could buy it.  For $12.  Score!!!

Serendipitous, don’t you think?  
There are 14 little hangers on the tree but I’ll do something to make it work.  
Maybe hang a couple of antique ornaments on it, or something.   
Oh, gosh.  
To make this work, I have to stitch AND finish 12 ornaments.  

Finish them.  
That means sewing.

Maybe they’ll all be done in time for next year.

Will you stay tuned? 

Pictures of Petoskey borrowed from Google

Most of the stores in the quaint towns in Northern Michigan, like Petoskey, close for the winter but we got there just before they all closed for the season and between those and the wineries and the lovely dinners, I had a blast.

Can you blame them for closing?  Brrrrr….

Finally, since this IS October.  
This is my kitchen table.  

The two cheese graters were found at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago for a quarter a piece.

I love them and how they glow with a candle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a note, when you can.

Be well,

Sunday, October 4, 2015

An American Sampler and Parental Progress

Dear friends,

     So many of you have asked me about my folks that I thought I'd give you a quick update for what I can, here.  As you may recall from FB, my dad was on a treadmill at the clubhouse he and my mom belong to when he apparently fainted, bumped his head (several goose eggs) and skinned his knee (to put it mildly).  My mom was in a water aerobics class when he motioned her to get out of the pool.  They went home, got him cleaned up and then he drove them to the hospital (mom no longer drives) but she told him if he didn’t drive himself, she would!  After getting to the hospital, the doctors ran some tests and determined that my dad had some blockages and would likely need surgery and at a minimum, stents.  Turns out he needed more than that and had a triple bi-pass on Wednesday, Sept 16th.  He had a quadruple bi-pass in 1998 and a stent after that and now the triple.  Like I said on Facebook – we may be thin (relatively speaking) on the outside but our arteries are grossly obese!  It’s genetics.  We don’t smoke or drink (too terribly much ) and we’re not too overweight.  My sister had sextuple bi-pass at 49, about five years ago, at the same hospital my dad was just in.  Cheryl (my younger sister) holds the dubious record for the most bi-passes done at one time at that hospital and a lot of the hospital staff remembered her.  I haven’t had to have bi-pass yet but I do have a stent and fully expect to have to have a bi-pass operation one day.  Anyway, I flew down to Florida to be with my dad and to help my mom for a week.   I’ll fly back down in a couple of weeks to help with the tail end of my dad’s recovery.  Another relative is staying there for the first half of recovery so both mom and dad are in good hands.    This pic is from March, the last time I was there and was of course, just prior to my Dad's bi-pass.

They are the cutest couple!

Here is dad on the day of his release from the hospital:

He is very serious!  
The bandages on his knee are from the fall on the treadmill.  
Thank you all for the kind notes both on FB and via email.  I appreciate them so much and would ask for continued prayers as they continue to recover and we transition as a family to a new living arrangement - my folks are going to move to Michigan in the Spring and will be living with Rob and me.  We are looking forward to having them and are lucky that we have the space, means and relationship to make it work!

Now… on to stitchy news.

Julie and I and Robin all attended the Dyeing to Stitch retreat last Spring and got to meet so many wonderful people to include Paulette, of Plum Street Samplers, and Ann and Pat the sweet owners of Dyeing to Stitch.  We met so many people, "famous" stitchers and bloggers alike - you know who you are!!!  It was great fun!  Here's one of the few pics we slowed down long enough to take of the group.  I was so tickled to meet Ann and Pat and Paulette, in person.  The cutie gal to the left is Robin - you may know her from the Stitchers of Smalls board on FB, then continuing from the left are Pat, Paulette, me, Ann and Julie.  I had such a great time at the retreat and had such fun meeting everyone.  The Dyeing to Stitch store is choc full of inspiration and beautiful fabrics and trims and all sorts of goodies you can hardly live without.  I had such fun!
Paulette's sampler for the retreat was called the American Sampler but to me, it's really a Virginia Sampler.   The flags represent Virginia’s connection to our Republic (8 presidents have been Virginian’s), the flowering dogwood tree is both the Virginia state tree and flower (you may recall the movie “The American President” where the POTUS tries to order flowers for his girlfriend and a discussion between his staff, himself and the florist ensues about whether the dogwood is the state flower or state tree of Virginia.  It’s both.), the cardinal is Virginia’s state bird, the brick home represents many of its type you see in Colonial Williamsburg, there is a beautiful colonial couple, the state motto – “Sic Semper Tyrannis” which translates to “Thus always to tyrants” at the bottom, and of course, one of Virginia’s favorite dates – July 4th, 1776 when the Commonwealth of Virginia, and all of the 13 colonies, declared independence.   I loved it the minute I saw it.

I did make a few minor changes to Paulette’s design.  I stitched the dogwoods in pink – my favorite.  I stitched the verse in blue rather than red, as it’s going in a house that’s predominately blue, and I centered the verse, which was originally left justified.  Nothing major – just little, itty-bitty changes. 

Sheila doesn’t know it, but this will be a birthday gift for her.  She is not a Virginian by birth but I don’t know of too many folks that are as much a lover of Virginia as she.  She has a sister in law that lives very near Alexandria and a niece that lives right in the heart of old towne Alexandria.  Sheila and her family have been there many, many times over the years and if she could, I think she’d live there.  I can hardly wait till her birthday on October 23rd!   The day I put the last stitch in this sampler (which I decided to stitch for Sheila the moment I saw it), she asked if she could borrow a few samplers to decorate her walls, for a visit from her family (the Virginians).  Of course I said yes but as I was putting in those last stitches and I thought about her request, I couldn’t help but feel that I really did have the perfect gift for her – a sampler, made by me, especially for her, about a state we both love.  It's perfect.  
I also couldn’t help but wonder if there was a market for the renting of samplers.  Probably not.  

I'm dropping my anniversary sampler off today to be framed and should be back in a couple of weeks to share that with you.  I can't wait.

Until next time, I wish you peace,


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Love Never Fails

Dear friends,

      Another post?  Yep, maybe the last one was not a fluke! 

     Rob and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in November.  Every once in a while it falls on Thanksgiving which is always kind of fun, except that I have to get up at the crack of dawn so I can cook all day, never get to sit down, the guys watch the Lions play football and hmmm... yeah, not so fun, I guess.   Anyway, this year is our 25th so I thought I'd stitch something to commemorate this special year.  I saw Barbara Anna's design called "Love Never Fails" when Carol Sims posted her beautiful finish and I thought it'd be perfect to turn into a wedding/anniversary sampler.  My interpretation incorporates both the year we got married and this year, our wedding date and our names.  I had to eliminate the cats (sorry, Cari) and one of the flower urns by our dapper fellow to make the changes fit.  I also added some over one elements, too.  I can't wait to get it framed!  I really enjoyed stitching this piece and have no doubt that Rob will be thrilled.  LOL~


"Love Never Fails"
designed by Barbara Anna
stitched on 35 count WDW Tin Roof linen
DMC threads, 1 over 2.

Don't you love the polka dotted birds?

I hope Rob doesn't see this post - I'm pretty sure he doesn't know I've decided to start blogging again, so I think we're safe.  This isn't a present for him, per se, but I do want it to be a kind of surprise.  At least he'll know I was thinking about our anniversary prior to the night before when I go find the lamest anniversary card, ever!

 I added a few extra, colorful diamonds to the dress:

25 years deserves to be over one:
This pic is a better representation of the fabric color, though still not exactly right.  It's truly gorgeous in person.  Try it - you won't be disappointed.

   I had to add some extra hearts under the names so they didn't look like they were floating:

The very last part to be finished was the gentleman's pants.  He just flat out refused to put them on.  Nasty boy!

I also changed the diamond border, ever so slightly.  I couldn't use brown for the border because I had stitched our names in brown.  That also meant I had to change the diamond colors a bit.  I just used whatever was handy and then, like Barbara, stitched the mirror image on the other side.  An easy adjustment to make.  

This is what Barbara's pattern looks like without all my changes.  Beautiful, isn't it?

I hope I can get an equally beautiful frame.  

Next time I'll show you my American Sampler by Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers all framed and in it's glory.  It is FABULOUS!!!

These were my estate sale finds this weekend:
This old, carved, concrete pot was a steal at $15 - don't you love the patina on it?  And those daffodils!!!  Love….

This one was even less $ - not as much patina but heavy concrete and I can't wait to put some mums in them.

Finally, a couple of old graters, being used as candle hurricanes.  I think they were fifty cents each.
Cheap and easy, outdoor goodies!

Have a great week my friends and thank you so much for the warm welcome back to blogging.