December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you!

We'll be doing some more celebrating, but for now we're happy to have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family.

Enjoy your day, and hope you get to stitch a bit.

December 8, 2013

Holiday Season Fun

I stitched these two stockings over the course of several years, and I was delighted to take them out for another holiday season.  They're still not properly hung, but nonetheless I love to see them on top of our armoire.

The Holiday Workshop stocking is my son's stocking. The other stocking is mine--it's a long story as to why, but we'll just leave it at that! I loved stitching them, and originally I  had wanted to do one for all in our family. (These stockings were featured in the wonderful magazine called Cross Stitch and Country Crafts.) I counted the hours spent on one of them, and it added up to 180 hours of stitching time for one stocking.   For that reason, I kept it to just a few stockings.  I'm a slow stitcher, I think!

Last weekend I even stitched a bit on the afghan I started back in 1990. It sounds almost laughable, doesn't it--started in 1990--or was it 1989? I just can't give up on finishing it. Progress pictures are coming soon.

Yesterday we did our annual holiday baking day at my brother's house. We had loads of fun, and lots of treats will greet our holiday visitors...and we'll enjoy many special sweet cookies and confections, too!

Here's a photo from a previous year's baking session-

I hope that you too are enjoying the holiday season, and getting in some much needed stitching time. Thanks for stopping by today.

November 25, 2013


image by Loves2Stitch2
image, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.

I am off this week. Maybe I will stitch! Let's see...

November 17, 2013

Sunday Afternoon

image by Loves2Stitch2
image, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
Getting ready to cook some beef barley soup, and doing some paperwork for my job.

I hope to stitch soon. For now, I will work and enjoy these lights I just added to this antique armoire. My late mother-in-law bought me the beautiful hardanger piece. It is something I treasure completely. Someone she knew made it for her, just for me--no idea who it was but what beautiful work!

Happy Stitching!

November 11, 2013

Afgan WIP update

image by Loves2Stitch2
image, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
I still haven't stitched, but I finally am sharing some stitching progress from last summer.

I started this afghan in 1990. That seems incredible! My son and daughter were just children then, and now they're grown up people! More on the afghan here, if you are so inclined to know.

I worked on the afghan off and on this past summer, and above shows the start of the 18th square. That means I only have 2 and a half squares left. Hurrah! The square above will be a flower basket when completed.

Here is a photo that shows it next to another recently completed square. I changed up the original design for that completed square and added the words "Think and Smile". I like this expression and use it with my students, so it seemed fitting to place it here.

image by Loves2Stitch2

A closer view of "Think and Smile":
image by Loves2Stitch2

My dear friend Kathe lent me a pattern book she had by Pat Rogers that contained some beautiful letter motifs. I adapted some of the designs for the afghan to represent my husband and my initials for a monogram design.

image by Loves2Stitch2

Hope to get back to this old gem soon. I am still amazed that I started it 23 years ago. Never give up, right?

Thanks for stopping by today.

October 29, 2013

No Time to Stitch

Fall day. by Loves2Stitch2
Fall day., a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
I promise I will stitch soon and share some of that here. There has been much going on in our family, and between that and my job there is no time to relax and thread my needle.

I did snap a photo out the window yesterday as I loved seeing the clouds to the east.  You can even see a slight peek of the fall snapdragons we planted last week. I hope your day is going well. Do stitch some for me.

October 17, 2013

Fall afternoon

Fall afternoon by Loves2Stitch2
Fall afternoon, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
I still haven't stitched, but I wanted to share this photo of some fall decorations.

Thanks for stopping by today.

October 12, 2013

Fall Morning

Fall by Loves2Stitch2
Fall, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
I love this time of year, and I love fall colors.


Sunrise by Loves2Stitch2
Sunrise, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.

This was my view as I began my commute to work recently. Isn't it divine!


Wreath made by JW by Loves2Stitch2
Wreath made by JW, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
I hope you are all enjoying autumn. Yesterday my brother surprised us with this wonderful wreath that he and his wife made. I love the scary raven!

No stitching done lately, maybe soon!

Fall, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
Love this time of year!

What are you working on lately? Please stitch some for me.

September 21, 2013

Stoney Creek: Home for the Holidays

This piece took me a long time to finish. I started it in 1987, perhaps, and finished it in 2003. I still need to get it framed! Do you have any pieces like that?

I got this pattern as a freebie from Stoney Creek.

I have been extremely busy with my job these days. No time for stitching. Hopefully soon!

Thanks for stopping by today.

September 2, 2013

Eddie Relaxing & No Time to Stitch

Eddie Taking a Dip by Loves2Stitch2
Eddie Taking a Dip, a photo by Loves2Stitch2 on Flickr.
We had to find another home for our dog about a year and a half ago. Oh how I miss him. It was a rather complicated yet simple issue, but I am happy to know he is rehomed in a perfect place for his breed and leanings.

Nothing stitching related for now as I have been too busy with work to even pick up my needle! What are you stitching today?  Enjoy and stitch a bit for me.

August 18, 2013

New Stash- Village of Hawk Run Hollow

Village of Hawk Run Hollow - Blocks 01-06 by Positano2005

The beautiful stitching above was done by Positano2005 and was shared on Flickr. Please click on the image to see more of Positano's (Concetta's) beautiful work.  I love the colors, writing, and how it all fits together so nicely. This is not the entire pattern, but it gives you an idea what it looks like. (Although I just bet you have seen it somewhere!)

I purchased this pattern last weekend for future stitching. I also have Houses of Hawk Run Hollow in my pile of patterns for the future. Someday, someday!

I have been too busy lately to stitch. I'm back at work full time and then some, but soon I will find time to work on something.

My deepest thanks go to  Positano  for sharing your fine work on Flickr and for inspiring me to get going with my work.

Thanks for stopping by today!

July 30, 2013

Afghan Progress--Slow and Steady

A little more than a month ago I wrote about the afghan I started so very long ago. I've managed to complete two more squares since then, and am working on yet another square. After I finish the present square's work, I believe there are just three more left. (or is it two...who's counting?) There are twenty squares all together.

One of the squares I completed uses a design from a book I borrowed from a very dear friend, and it includes a monogram. I used my husband's and my initials on it.  The other square I came up with and charted myself. It's very simple, as you might guess. Right now I am working on a flower basket square from Sue Hillis' Granny's Attic book. I'm so loving that one!

Some progress photos are coming soon. Thanks for stopping by today.

July 19, 2013

Summer is Flying By....

Summer is nearing an end for me, and soon I will be back at work full-time. It's been a wonderful summer filled with good times.  Not all summers have been this way in our lives, that's for sure!

Hoping to stitch soon. I finished another afghan square, and am nearing completion on another one as well.

We've visited beautiful spots this summer, and for that I am very grateful. Here's a lovely bonsai tree taken in a Japanese Garden at San Diego's Balboa Park:

Thanks for stopping by today!

June 23, 2013

That Afghan Started Way Back When

It's been a busy week with celebrations, fun outings, and great visits with friends and family. Summer is a wonderful time to relax and feel refreshed, isn't it?

Even though it's been busy around here, I am happy to report that I've had the chance to do a bit more stitching. I just finished two more squares on my afghan that was started back in 1990. Yes, that was 23 years ago. Here is what I have added in the past several days:

This is from Sue Hillis' Granny's Attic book. I love this one, but I did leave off the flourishy pink ribbon that was on top of it. I'm feeling lazy, I guess.

This is from Sam Hawkins' 501 Crosstitch Designs book. I changed the colors to match Sue Hillis' color scheme.

Earlier this month, I added this part. This is an adaptation of Karen Kluba's Quaker Diamonds pattern, with the colors changed here as well to match the afghan tones.

Here's a few more I took tonight of the entire afghan:

I've now stitched 15 out of 20 squares in this piece. I'm 75% done with it. Hurrah!

Thanks for stopping by today.

June 18, 2013

Love & Embroidery

I have been able to work on my afghan a few times this past week. A progress photo will come soon, as I've finished another square and have started the next one. I think that means that 15/20 squares of this afghan are completed now! Maybe.

Most of the time this week I have been too busy to stitch. Our home has been filled with great times of extended family visiting, as well as closer family members.  How sweet it is to be with people we have known our entire lives, and feel right at home even though we haven't seen each other in years. Yesterday was busy with my daughter , niece, and their children coming to visit. It's a new kind of energy when four children between the age of one and six are enjoying each other in one's home.  I also take care of my son's little dog during the day in the summer, so more energy is added to the mix in this place we call home.

I have always loved quotations, and I also love embroidery.  What better than to place a wonderful quote that speaks of embroidery's shiny stitches and love onto a piece that my daughter stitched many years ago. It speaks well to letting love carry you, even through the darkest times.  I placed the words on Mirabilia's Titania, which my daughter stitched for my niece as a wedding gift.

Thanks for stopping by today. Soon I'll post a progress picture of that afghan.

June 11, 2013

Progress on Afghan- "If you start something, you must finish it."

Did you ever start a needlework project, and then rather wish you hadn't? I know I have! At times these projects languish in my project armoire forever and ever. They're destined for a state of perpetual WIP or UFO status. I have just a few of these 'never to be completed' ones, and they are small ones, I'm happy to report.

Hobbies are interesting things, and how we view them and our need to complete projects. I watched a movie not too long ago called The Lovely Bones. Yes, it is about a grim, tragic subject. The part that I am reflecting upon has to do with a character's hobby, not the grim subject matter of the film. In the movie, it's beautiful to watch the relationship of the victim with her dad, and to feel the love he has for his daughter. Besides being a loving father, this character has a hobby/obsession where he builds beautiful, detailed miniature ships in bottles.  His daughter Susie asked him about his miniature ship building hobby, if her mom knew he did this before she married him, etc. (The mother did.) In the film, this father says  to the victim about his hobby/obsession, "Susie, hobbies are healthy, they teach you if you start something,  you finish it. You don't stop until you get it right. You start over again, and you keep going as  long as you have to. That's the way it is."

Wise words, right?

Hearing that inspired me. I can so relate to those words, and I know I must finish this afghan. (along with my other significant WIPs, one of them started as long ago as 2002!)

I started this afghan in 1990. Yes, 1990! That makes me gulp, as it is now 23 years in the making. I feel embarrassed about it. Life has so changed in 23 years, and yet here is this project waiting to be completed. When I started it, I was quite young and my children were very young! My son wasn't even in grade school.  Incredible. I was a stay-at-home mom, far away in time from returning to school to become credentialed in my profession. I loved being a stay-at-home mom, by the way. It was a wonderful time in our lives.

So about the afghan. There are 20 squares to be stitched in this afghan, and as of today I have finished 13 of them. I completed one yesterday, I am happy to say.  I bought the afghan back in 1989 while on a trip to my husband's home state, and I believe I bought the leaflet in the same long ago closed-down store in a very tiny midwestern town.

The afghan is called a "Lady Elizabeth" afghan, and I am primarily using Sue Hillis' Granny's Attic pattern book. There are 20 squares, and just 8 patterns in the leaflet, so instead of doubling motifs I have decided to add other projects into the mix, while using the same muted color scheme that Sue Hillis used in her leaflet. I have added patterns from the book called 501 Crosstitch Patterns, all designed by Sam Hawkins. In the original leaflet it states that the afghan is nice enough to leave some squares unstitched. Why didn't I listen to that sensible advice?

As I am adding other designs to it, several years ago I charted out the entire afghan's twenty patterns I was to use, including the added patterns I'd found.  Sadly, I lost that homemade charting along with the original leaflet.  I sent off for a replacement leaflet back in 2001.  Around 2003 or so I found the original one, as often happens when we trouble ourselves to find a replacement pattern.  I have once again lost the original leaflet, and my little homemade messy 'pattern' of the 20 motifs to be used, and where they should be placed. I do have the replacement leaflet, so that is a lucky thing.

Those words are echoing again, "You start over again, and you keep going as  long as you have to. That's the way it is."

All these delays and lost patterns have added to my procrastination on this project, that's for sure.

That was a long story, and I hope you are still with me.

Here is the latest square I stitched yesterday. I pulled out my Quaker Diamonds pattern, and used that as a base for the square. I changed some of it, to make it go faster!
I don't like how the colors look together, really, but it will stay. The color scheme is very limited and they're the typical late 80's muted colors that were so popular back then. I fear I used too much blue in this square. There is blue in the original pattern, but not in such boldly displayed hues.

Some more views:

More views of the afghan and my very slow 23 year progress:

The afghan and how it looked several years ago:

 Do you have any old WIPs that you must finish?  How do you motivate yourself? 

Thanks for stopping by today.

June 10, 2013

Lasagna Recipe

It's been a relaxing summer so far around here. I've managed to get some home projects done, been able to read a bit, and even stitched some. No progress picture today of my stitching, but I promise there will be one soon.

I've had a few family gatherings here, and it's always fun to celebrate. Today we celebrated several birthdays in our family. My husband, son, and son-in-law all have birthdays within five days of each other. It makes for  a fun and busy June.  

Today I cooked up lasagna for our main dish at our birthday celebration. We tend to eat at home as a family, instead of going out to eat. All of us contribute a portion of the meal, and we enjoy eating our meal together at home, and enjoying the yard and other home activities. I know that a lot of families go out for all occasions, but this just has never been our tradition.

The lasagna recipe comes from a dear family friend, and I first ate it at her home while I was in high school, back in the seventies, when I was wearing embroidered jeans. Indeed!

 It was always a delight to have her lasagna, and I am so glad she shared the recipe with us. She told us the recipe came from a cooking magazine, but we just know it as her recipe.

A photo of it, before baking it today:


Grease a  9 X 13 or a bit larger casserole dish.

1 pound sweet italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 -12 ounce can of tomato paste
1  -16 ounce can of diced tomatoes. (I add an extra 8 ounces of tomatoes or else it's too dry)
1 Tbsp basil

In a pan, simmer one pound sweet italian sausage, and two cloves of garlic that you've minced. I use a bit of olive oil for the simmering.  Drain the grease, and add a 12 ounce can of tomato paste and a one pound can of chopped tomatoes (and the extra 8 ounces of them, for added moisture), and 1 tablespoon of basil. Simmer this for about an hour, stirring once in a while.

Cheese Filling
24 ozs of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Also needed
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, unsliced

While the sauce is simmering, stir up the cheese filling portion of the dish and refrigerate, covered in a bowl.

Cook up a box of lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Lay the rinsed noodles out on layers between wax paper, or else they'll stick together.

To assemble the lasagna, put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the greased pan.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Follow the thin sauce layer with a layer of noodles, cheese filling, meat sauce, and thinly sliced mozzarella cheese. (At times I cheat and buy the pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, but it truly doesn't taste as good that way.) Repeat this with another layer of noodles, cheese filling, meat sauce, and thinly sliced mozzarella cheese. Repeat two more times, ending the final time with the meat sauce on top. You'll have four layers of noodles, meat, and cheeses when you're done.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour,and let it rest five minutes before cutting it up. Enjoy!

This recipe can easily be doubled. One time a few of us ladies in my family made four of these for a huge anniversary celebration for my parents. It was a rather large undertaking, but the results were so worth it.

Last of all, a photo of the birthday cake from today:

My daughter baked and brought it. She added an extra 1/3 cup of cocoa to the chocolate cake mix, and we always make chocolate icing using the recipe on the Hershey's cocoa box. We jokingly laugh that in our family we are not allowed to use canned icing, nor frosting mix. It is 'forbidden', so to speak!

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you too are enjoying summer.

June 3, 2013

Quaker Diamonds Progress

I stitched a bit this week, and here's my progress:

The finished project will look like this:

I am really enjoying this one! I am using the suggested colors, and I love how they look together. I found another one of these online with a creative use of much brighter colors, and I found that to be lovely as well.

Thanks for stopping by today and taking a look at my work.