Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

I had to take the time to write this post.  I work in a very small office in a family owned business.  I only have 2 co-workers that are not in the family.  Betsy is quite the southern lady - she was born and raised in Alabama - attended an all girls christian college also in Alabama and she is also blessed to have a home filled with gorgeous antiques she inherited from both sides of her family.  She has one lovely daughter who is the only grandchild in Betsy's family.  Among these family heirlooms - Betsy has 4 or 5 antique hooked rugs but then that is another story - she has quilts too and an amazing little alphabet sampler.  It came down in her mothers family - it is a simple alphabet sampler but is in excellent shape - color still good and was stitched by Rebecca Eliza Weyman aged 7 in 1819.  I had seen the sampler several years ago when Betsy's mother passed away - her father gave Betsy the sampler.  He is in his mid 80's now and lives in a retirement home in FL. 

No words can describe my surprise when Betsy walked in my office this morning and handed me a big gift bag - I said - Oh no - I thought we decided not to exchange this year and she said "Mel I wanted you to have this"  When I pulled this sampler from the bag - I felt rather faint and just burst out in tears - I was so overwhelmed by this gesture - to recieve a gift of this magnitude - something so special to her - a family heirloom with all the provenance in place - I was speechless (imagine that) Betsy was very gracious to just sit there while I boo hoo'd in a tissue for 10 minutes - I just did not even know how to respond to something like this - she said she wanted me to have it - she knew how special it would be to me for the rest of my life - she said her daughter would never appreciate it as much as I would and she wanted me to enjoy it and to always think of her.  OK I'm tearing up again just writing this.  I could not wait to share this with my friends in blog land who I know could appreciate this story and be happy for me.  I hope this does not sound overly dramatic but I am truly astounded with the gift.  I snapped a few quick photos on my IPhone so you could see Elizabeth Few Booth with her ancestors sampler.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I was sitting here in the office this morning looking at other blogs and looked up and my friend and network consultant Eric was standing in the doorway holding the most beautifully wrapped gift.  He said he got saw it in downtown St Augustine and thought of me - WOW - I was so impressed with his thoughtfulness - he said he thought I needed a special gift and not the obligatory chocolate basket (nothing wrong with that either!)

I couldn't wait to open the box and see what was inside - I was so impressed with the elegant gift of a reproduction pen set with a little tray and 2 ink wells and this gorgeous hand blown stylus.  I thought the card even went so well with the gift and the blue and white transferware pattern is so ENGLISH.
Here is a photo of our tree at the office - I can see it from my desk in the library.  It is at the opposite end of the house in the formal parlor which is our conference room.  You can see the size of the tree by looking at the grandfather clock next to it.  It is so beautiful and I have enjoyed it so much.  The owners of the company I work for are such lovely people.  Their youngest son who is my direct boss did most of the decorating - putting up white lights on the palms outside and greenery over the doorway and up the staircase.  What a wonderful place to work and such a great family to work for.  I am so blessed.
I am leaving work early today - DF Karen is stopping by on her way to visit her mom and sister in NC.  It will be nice to have a guest at christmas time if only for one night - we are going to have dinner and start stitching or knitting.  I plan to get her advice on that Maggie Bonanomi Winter White bed cover I want to do and how to approach that project since I am not a quilter - I need some coaching.

Wish I had some needlework photos to show you but I have not been stitching much at all - I did have a new start for christmas - I needed something bright and sparkly and I have had Poinsettias and Pines stashed for 2 years - I ordered some of that lovely sparkly linen from Sugar and Spice in Australia but had misplaced it in the move last summer.  Upon finding it recently - I thought it was a message from the christmas angels that is was OK to start something bright and sparkly this season.  I doubt I will get much done but since it is not necessarily a "christmas" piece but a "winter" piece - I will continue on it for the next couple of winter months. I'll show a photo when I have more to show.  I gave my mom a little stitchy gift for christmas and wanted her to have it now - she only stitches on Aida these days but I wanted something special for the Prairie Schooler Christmas Eve chart so I ordered PTP Crystal Mystic and also glacier - She loved them both but chose the sparkly piece to start stitching on.  So we'll have a good time over the holiday stitching on our bright and sparkly pieces.

I'm knitting a neat scarf for Jody and it's coming along - I'm into the 2nd skein of 3 so I guess I'm about 1/2 finished - I won't have it done for christmas but our coldest weather is yet to come.  So I'll keep at it and soon he'll have it to wear.

I've done all the shopping I intend to do - we decided to go very small this year - only 2 gifts each - of course that doesn't apply to my mom who never adhers to my rules LOL - However I do think she did pare back this year - I sure hope so.

In case I don't make it back to blog land to post again before Christmas - I hope every one finds peace and joy and many happy stitches.  I appreciate and look forward to hearing from each of you with your comments.  I feel like I have met so many wonderful and talented people thru blogging - you are all so special to me -

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm such a slacker - when yesterday finally got here - I was so exhausted I did not even take one single photo at the luncheon.  I know I promised you a full report but instead I am going to piggyback and send you off to look at DF Jackie's report of the luncheon.  She was a guest of our rug hooking group - she is a wanna be hooker and we are in a couple of other needlework related groups together.  I met her at the LYS when she was a newby knitter and now she is stitching, quilting, knitting and we hope will one day "get hooked".  She has some neat photos you will enjoy seeing including a shot of my mom's queen anne footstool cover she is hooking.

The only photo I have to share today is of the favors I put together for the members of our rug guild.  They are rolls of red and green plaid wool.  I got this lovely wool from another DF Karen - She has a wonderful stash of wool in her studio and she dyed the green plaid for me using another friend and teacher Jean Tynan's formula - I thought it turned out great and what rug hooker can't use more wool !  In the middle of this basket are those little bags of stitch markers that I ordered off Etsy for the 3 guests who all knit but don't hook.

I have to announce that I finished my pomegranate runner on Saturday.  I did not have the time to take photos right now so I'll do that in the next post.  Maybe I'll also have a photo of how I decide to finish the BBD Noel piece I showed in the previous post.

Still not doing much stitching at all - I am doing a lot of knitting - I decided to start a scarf for Jody for Christmas - ha ha - we'll see if I can get it done in 10 days - probably not since it is 74" long but he will enjoy watching it grow - over the years Jody has become slightly more interested in what I am doing - the other night - I caught him rubbing that skein of alpaca all over his face and neck and when  he saw me watching him - he said " oh I was just checking the softness of the fiber"  how's that for osmosis!  Next post I'll try and get a photo of the lovely Berroco Cuzco yarn I'm using for his scarf. 

Thanks for all your comments and Laurie thanks for getting Emma and Owen to explain to me how it is to be "snow dogs" - that was so cute!  Enjoy the season and don't forget the "reason"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Well - it is 15 days till Christmas and I am feeling a little humbuggy - I took a couple of photos this morning and thought I'd try to do a cheery blog post - BAH HUMBUG - I've had a crappy day on top of a crappy week at work.  I thought I could put that aside today and believe me I'm trying real hard to do so.  So instead of complaining about my lack of christmas spirit - I am going to just move on and show you a few things so that I can try to pull myself out of this funk.

Here is a wonderful hand carved santa clutching a hooked rug that I got a number of years ago from a rug hookers husband that I met along my journey.  It had been wrapped up and put away for so long I forgot about him.  As I am STILL cleaning out my old house - I am still finding treasures that I forgot I had.

The next photo is of a Mark Roberts fairy that my mom got for me the other night - She had the box all wrapped up and left it on my dining room table. I think she can sense that I am not sliding into the christmas spirit very easily this year.  He is a cute little thing - I have him sitting up in the tree on a branch - he was too heavy to hang - I watched one of Martha Stewarts old Christmas programs last night and she called this spot in the tree an "elf shelf" and I got right up out of my chair and positioned this guy on the "elf shef" - my tree is gorgeous this year - about 8 ft tall and very full - It came from Home Depot but was fresh and beautiful and a reasonable price.  I love a live tree - I had not put up a tree for probably 20 years or more at the old house so it is nice to have a live tree again and put up a few decorations.  Gosh doesn't this fairy look realistic sitting in there on that branch!

I wasn't sure if I mentioned that my mom got me another early Christmas present (yep we are in the 12 days of christmas!) it was the Joyeaux Noel book by BBD - lovely book - I am wanting so badly to start Tis the Season - I have seen several wonderful versions on blogs I read - However I opted to do something quick and something that would give me instant (or at least quick) gratification.  Here is Love Letters - I changed all the colors to Belle Soie and I think they came out to be a pretty good match - I am uncertain if I will finish it on the box top as they showed - I'm not very crafty and my finishing skills are even more pitiful so opting to do the box might be the least path of resistance for me.  I used the called for  PTP Dill linen in 32ct which is a bit busy for this design but in person it looks OK.

I have a finish - FINALLY - the lacy hat I was knitting for a friend is finished - WHEEEEEE - it is in Alpaca Sox - nice yarn but I'm not sure how well it would wear if used for socks.  I plan to give it to a friend who is knitting a jacket for me out of yarn I accumulated for this jacket.  She has done several of them and they are beautiful - I will also be doing some other knitting for her when she decides what exactly she wants me to do.  I put it on a bowl for the photo -  it looks pretty tacky but it is actually a very cute hate - it has 8 inches of k2p2 ribbing that you fold back in half so it is a very retro style hat - almost like a snood - don't ask me what a snood is - I just envision hats that have a lot of length to them and sometimes hang down in the back as snoods.  When I showed my Afghan Hounds - they wore snoods all the time to keep their ears out of their food and water.  They were in essence big puffy hats. -

Well - I hope you are all enjoying the season and having loads of fun.  Everyone gets so busy with parties, shopping, deadlines and functions - it sometimes gets overwhelming.  My mom and I are hosting our rug guild christmas luncheon on Sunday.  We are having it at a B&B that has a restaurant in the historic area near where I work.  We will have a plated meal and then have our gift exchange - I can't wait to show you photos from that event next week.  I appreciate your stopping by and reading and commenting on my blog.  Enjoy!