31 August 2006
committed for commitments?
Or alternatively titled, I've done it again!

Before I left for Maine, I signed up for two quilt squares for Sam's quilt on Quilts 4 Kids. Sam just really touched me, and it seemed that Linde was having a difficult time getting enough stitchers for his theme. And I'd signed up for a mailart exchange. Then when we returned to Holland, I discovered that I could sign up for the SBEBB, which I've wanted to do for some time now. Naturallly, there were a couple of exchanges there that I wanted to sign up for. Then I read that Kathie from the Hurricane Katherine Quilt Project still hadn't received enough squares for a single quilt, let alone squares enough to do a quilt for each state, so I felt like I had to sign up for a couple of more to send to her. And I'd ignored my borduurquilt group for far too long, so I signed up for two quilt squares. My stitching agenda is full! Max asked me this morning when his bunny would be done - a stitching gift I intended to make him for Easter 2006. I felt reasonably safe when I told him it would be ready for Easter 2007! To make sure I really can get everything done without stressing, I sat down with a calendar and wrote out when to start & finish all the projects - there is time to have them all done by their deadlines!

I love stitching and for some peculiar reason I feel a bit guilty when I do it for myself (or for my family). Has anyone else experienced this?

Regarding the questions I've received about Violette's gift in yesterday's post, it's a Bent Creek design and you can read more about it here.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:57 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 2 comments
30 August 2006
a sea of smiles
Yes, it may be raining to the point that a few people are collecting animals two-by-two, but a few smiles brightened up the gray skies around here today!

First off, Ash came with Joe and Seb for the middle part of the day and we had so much fun! The kids played together non-stop, giving Ash & I a chance to check out each other's current stitching and to just talk. "Just talking" with a grownup is such a treat! Next time, we'll be heading over to their home for an afternoon. Everyone's already looking forward to it.

And I received this adorable picture from Isabelle of her dear Violette enjoying a little giftie I made for her. I loved stitching this Bent Creek pattern, and it was wonderful to hear how happy it made both Violette and Isabelle.

Now, back to that mailart envelope ...

And thank you all very much for your kind comments regarding my new look. I wish my Granny were around to see it.

Edited to add Isabelle's word-association tag:
visit - coffee
cake - chocolate
period - end
triumphant smile
screen - wide
neglect - plants (I finally watered them today, only 2 days late)
guitar - Andy (an old friend who is also an excellent musician)
sugar - maple
montage - collection

I won't tag anyone, but if you'd like to do it, jump in!
29 August 2006
rain, rain
Seems like I've seen little but this

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

since we returned from Maine. Ugh.

So naturally I decided to manipulate the environment that I could. What do you think of the new look? It's not really related to Maine or to stitching, but it's my father's mother's family. That's actually my Granny in the first row, second from the right.

I've been poking along at my mail art and I've signed up for a couple of upcoming exchanges that I'm really looking forward to doing. No pictures yet.

Tomorrow, Ash and her boys are coming over for the day. I'm really looking forward to seeing her. And on Thursday, I'll have five kids for the day - I'm babysitting for a friend, and Max's best pal will also be here. Cross your fingers that we all make it through the day okay!
posted by mainely stitching at 10:52 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments
27 August 2006
the best ships are friendships, and may they always be
Today's title is in honor of my friend Anna, who's Irish and proud of it. We were lucky and got to keep her for the whole weekend during this visit to the Netherlands - what a treat! We went to a wedding on Friday night, stayed up far too late, stumbled over to the children's petting zoo on Saturday morning, and then wandered over to Delft Saturday evening to window shop and eat. Today we just chatted and enjoyed the spectacular rainfall until it was time for her to leave. Though I didn't convert her to cross stitching (grin), she's promised me a meeting with her godmother when I visit in England. Her godmother not only cross stitches, but quilts and knits and crochets and ....

Before Anna left, Niek was kind enough to snap a picture of us in the back garden between rainstorms.

I didn't do any stitching this weekend, but we had a lot of fun together. I hope you've also enjoyed a wonderful weekend!
24 August 2006
teensy weensy bunnikins
I finished my other project today - you'll have to wait till it's received to see pictures - and started my Woodland Mailart. I'm going to do this MA differently than I've done my past ones - getting a little more daring. Instead of lining the envelope with some sort of coordinating fabric, I'm going to basically double the linen so I can stitch the inside, too. This is the inside of the envelope flap.

The color didn't come out (night photos never do), but this is stitched over one on 32 count Jobelan water lily using DMC. The rabbits and tree are from And A Forest Grew, by Karen Kluba. I made the sun up myself.

Today flew by with hours passing like minutes. I managed to muck out the worst of the mess in our spare room in preparation of Anna's arrival tomorrow afternoon. Time flies when you're having fun. LOL
23 August 2006
who's that?
Thanks for your compliments on my new sidebar picture - that adorable little boy on my lap is Sammy, the more "reluctant" twin of my friend Kelli. He is a little slower to warm up than his brother Stephen, but once he decides that you check out, he's a sweetie. Rowen was thrilled to have TWO babies to coo over when we went to visit Kelli. Here is the complete photo that I borrowed from. Kelli is sitting beside me, and her eldest son, Tyler, is beside her. That's little Stevie on Kelli's lap.

I didn't take my digital camera with me and I haven't yet scanned in all the photos we took, but I can share some digital pictures my brother took of the day we spent together.

Here's one of all our kids together that I just love.

And this is a great one of my baby brother Rich and his son, Cameron, checking out the local delicacies.

We met up at Old Orchard Beach, which is a nightmare for parking, but what a great beach! Here we are, playing in the surf. I forgot to bring my bathing suit, but the water was just too inviting for me to stay on the sand!

We had such a great day together. It's hard to cram two years' worth of catching-up into a single day so we didn't even try. It was cool to just hang out together and watch the kids have fun.

The sun is trying to shine today, so I have high hopes for a walk with all three of the kids this afternoon. I hope that wherever you are and whatever you're doing, your heart is singing a happy song.
posted by mainely stitching at 10:23 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 1 comments
22 August 2006
i did it!
Yes, by dinnertime tonight I managed to read all the blogs in my sidebar and a few that aren't. If I didn't leave a comment on your blog, it was just because I was green with envy at all the beautiful stitching you managed to accomplish while I was goofing off in Maine. ;>

And I'm going to break down and show you my WIP, which I hope to finish tonight and then finish-finish very soon. My dear friend Anna is arriving in a day or two from Ireland and we'll be kicking up our heels together very soon. We'll all just have to overlook her one small shortcoming - she doesn't cross stitch. Yet...

Seriously, folks, you've created some amazingly beautiful projects during the past month or so! Maybe it's not such a disappointment that I forgot to photograph the couple of things I made (and gave away) during my holiday. They're so tiny in comparison. (But made with love!) I must be one of the slowest stitchers on the planet. Oh well, so long as it continues to keep me on this side of the rooms with padded walls, I mustn't complain.
21 August 2006
settling in
Today was the return to Real Life. Max had his first day of school, which went wonderfully well. Nicky was very upset that he was not also starting school today and pitched quite the fit when he had to go to daycare instead. He had a great day, though. He's Mr. Social, and just loves his playpals there. Rowen also had a wonderful day playing and cooing over a new baby in her group. I actually managed to fully catch up on my workload at the office, and even Niek came home in a fine mood. Hooray!

The kids all wanted their pictures taken yesterday in their finery, and I just have to share these adorable pictures of them. And Gilbert also wanted to show off a bit at Niek's parents, so you can see his beautiful new green feathers that are growing in after his alarming loss of feathers.

I am stitching something very fun, but I can't show you as it's a surprise for a regular reader. Sorry to tease!

Thank you for continuing to visit me here. I'm sorry I haven't yet been able to visit everyone's blog - I am slowly making my way through the ranks. I've missed you all!!
posted by mainely stitching at 10:42 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ | 0 comments
20 August 2006
Maine arts (continued from previous post)
I'm so thrilled with these two bits of Maine that remind me of our happy days spent there this summer!

here i am!
We actually arrived back in the Netherlands on Friday morning, but that whole day was "lost" in getting re-settled (grocery shopping, unpacking, checking in with neighbors, sorting out mail, etc.). I intended to blog yesterday, but the day flew by. Anyway, here I am!

We had a great flight back - and to anyone flying in or out of Maine, I recommend the Bangor Airport! I've never encountered such friendly, helpful airport staff anywhere else I've flown in the world (and that's taking in 5 countries' worth of airports!!). We are more or less over our jet lag now, too.

I have tons of stories to relate and pictures to share, but I'll start with some cross stitching photos of my stash. I'll be on the wagon till our next trip to the US!!

I had arranged for some Danish charts & booklets to be sent to my mom's address to save on postage, and I'd also pre-ordered some designs by Charley Harper to wait for me at ABC Stitch Therapy. Here are those pictures:

And there were some miscellaneous charts that just had to come home with me, even if that meant chucking some of my clothes out of the suitcase to make room. LOL!

I also bought a lot of DMC - flower thread, linen thread, and regular cotton (I'm trying for a full set of DMC stranded cotton). I got lucky at Marden's and found a lot of flower thread and some linen thread for only 19 cents per skein! Unfortunately, they didn't have "everything" but I sure added to my stash! I'll need those for the Danish patterns, which call for flower thread. Naturally, I had to bring home something Maine-made to keep my goodies in. My Daddy bought me a lovely cedar handmade basket (it smells amazing!) and Niek bought me a beautiful lupin-decorated piece of pottery made by local artist April Adams. Thank you both! These are wonderful keepsakes from Maine.

Sorry! Blogger won't take any more photos and Photobucket is on the fritz, so I'll have to post this picture seperately.
09 August 2006
another kind of stitching
Remember those adorable, if mischievious, kids of mine? Well, the other day Nicky pulled a stunt that will live on in family history.

He's been potty-training for awhile now, and does a good job with the exception of the clean-up afterward. So the other morning I hear his "I'm DONE!" bellow and appear on the scene to do my part of the job. Nicky tilts forward, a little too fast, and winds up on his head on the floor. Initially, this is quite an amusuing sight, but when he cries out, I quickly pick him up and comfort him. I think he's hit his head ... till I see his lap filling up with a little pool of blood. Somehow, in the course of his fall, not all of his parts had fallen at the same rate. Our own little Mr. Mischief now sports 6 stitches in a most sensitive area. He was a trooper during the whole thing - from the madcap rush to the emergency room, through the repeated questioning from the hospital staff ("He tore what?!" "Doing what?!"), and throughout the lengthy process of being stitched up. You'd never know there was a thing wrong with him either - it hasn't slowed him down a bit!

Otherwise, we are having lots of fun and I have done some stitching, but ... I forgot to take pictures! I gave "Thankful for Ewe" to Sara and yesterday I gave a small pillow featuring a lobster boat against a rocky, wooded coastline to my Aunt Kathy and I forgot to take a picture of either one of them! They came out pretty good, but you'll have to take my word for it.

We spent yesterday on Mount Desert Island at my Aunt Kathy & Uncle George's shore-front home. The kids and I had a blast exploring their tidal beach for shrimp, clams, crabs, mussels and other discoveries. I brought home one small stone to add to my tiny collection of special Maine coast stones. Last time we were here, I chose one from Jasper's Beach, a favorite old haunt of mine.

Today we're having coffee with my sister and later heading to the Acadia Zoo with the kids and my aunts. The weather couldn't be better!

Thanks for continuing to read & comment. I try to read a few blogs, but commenting (with this dial up connection), is just impossibly slow. Take care!
04 August 2006
having a great time - wish you were here!
Sorry for my quietness lately - these dial-up Internet connections don't exactly entice me to blog more. And we are having such a great time that I don't want to hover around the computer anyway.

Meeting up with Carol and Patti at ABC Stitch Therapy was wonderful, as you've probably already read on their blogs. I even got to meet Mike, though Cowboy had to stay home. I hope he didn't get into any of Patti's projects while she was gone! We had a great lunch at a golf club across the street, and then Sara and I made the long trek home.

Our stay with Sara and Ken was wonderful. A true rest for the spirit, and joy for the soul. Thank you so much, you guys!

We've been with my Dad and Mary this week and have had a great time toddling around the county. We've been swimming and shopping and sightseeing and I've been working at a little Maine-themed cross stitch project that I really hope to finish today. Daddy and Mary are wonderful and the kids get so excited whenever my Dad gets home from work.

Next week we'll be back at my Mom's, where we'll stay till the end of our vacation. We'll catch up with friends - Nancy & Erik, Kelli and her family, and several others. I also have a few friends to call on the phone - notably, Maria S. I'll catch up with you, don't worry!

Today's the first rainy day we've had since being back in Washington County and the cool air feels pretty good. I hope this finds you all happy & healthy! Thank you for continuing to stop by and read about our adventures.