Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Embroidery Companion Sew Along Month One: Days of the Week Dishtowels!

The first project for our sew along will be the Days of the Week Dishtowels.  (I am currently visiting family in Colorado and neglected to bring my book with me to snap a picture of this beautiful project from the book.)  These dishtowels seem to be a great introductory project to embroidery as the only stitch required is a simple backstitch, a must in every embroiderers' bag of tricks.  It also will be great practice for transferring designs to fabric since they are seven dishtowels to make.  I must admit I am a little hesitant about transferring designs as I've only ever used iron-on transfers before.  But I did recently get the pen Alicia recommended, the Micron marker, and am hoping to get a light box soon to help with this endeavor. I know we can do it together!

Another great thing about the Days of the Week Dishtowels is that if sewing is daunting for you, or perhaps you don't have a sewing machine at home, there are many simple dishtowel sets out there that could use a little handmade touch. Alicia also has a great free tutorial for a similar set of dishtowels on her blog if you haven't been able to procure a copy of Embroidery Companion yet.

And finally the dishtowels seem to me to be a great way to set two little New Year’s Resolutions for myself, one of creating happy stitches all year long and to create a more organized way of keeping house. (Something I can always use help with!)

A few other notes and details:

  • If you haven't signed up on the flickr group yet make sure to do so.
  • My husband and I are still working on the badge for you to use on your own blogs. In the meantime feel free to copy and paste the image above and link back to any sew along post.
  • I'll check in with you all mid-January to see how progress is coming on your dishtowel set. At that time I'll give you further details to if and how a giveaway might occur for those who participate this month.  
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: This sew along is meant to be a fun way to encourage each other and keep one another motivated to complete Alicia's beautiful designs. If you can't join us this month, no worries we'll be here again the next month. Join in when you can!

Happy Stitching!!!    

Monday, December 13, 2010

Embroidery Comapanion Book Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the signed copy of the Embroidery Companion by choice of is....... Sue Prindle Wendy. 

Sue, I tried to find contact information for you on your profile but I didn't see it.  Please contact me so that I can send you your lovely copy!  Sue if I don't hear you by Saturday Decemeber 18th I will chose another person.

Wendy has been contacted via email and hopefully will be able to recieve her book soon.  Thank you for all your lovely comments.  How I wish I could have sent you each a copy.  Looking forward to stitching together!
I will be taking a break for a few weeks to spend time with family and friends in Colorado.  I hope you each enjoy this holiday season.  Please check back at the end of the month to find out the first project for our sew along!

PS. For those who've asked about Miss Daisy, she is doing really well, minus a few housetraining errors.  She turned three months this past weekend.  Sadly she won't be able to travel with us to Colorado.  : (  But Daisy will be with close friends back at the breeder's house.  It will be a Blue Christmas without you Daisy.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Daisy and her chippy!

A few days ago the writing prompt for #Reverb 10 was Community.  I desperately wanted to write about it that day but this little precious one kept me pretty busy!

Here is the full prompt:

Community.  Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise in 2010?  What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

The first spring in our PNW home 2008.

In 2010 for me there have been many communities of varying kinds.  They have built up around me without much thought or effort unlike the first year of moving here.  When we moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 it was a constant effort to build a new community, find new friends, new activities.  It felt an awful lot like the horrible dating process or clothes shopping.  Trying things on, trying out new people to see which ones really fit the best. But now living here for three years the community I've created is thriving and lively.  I've even found ways to reconnect with my old community back home in Colorado!

My online community has grown in 2010.  First I began commenting more on other blogs that I really enjoyed.  Not surprisingly many of them commented back!  The online community that I've stumbled into has been very kind and encouraging.  In August I participated in Susannah's August Break and while I didn't participated every day like I had wanted it was fun to be part of a fun little project like that.  In this group I met some lovely ladies, Jude and Lisa in particular.  These two ladies have become faithful commenters which only keeps me excited to write and share with you each day.  Others I "met" stretched my thoughts about photography and made me gasp at the simple beauty they created.   In particular, this one, this one, and this one.

In the year ahead I hope to stretch my online community by hosting the Embroidery Companion Sew Along and perhaps participating in a online sewing swap or two.  PS. There is still time to comment to win the Embroidery Companion book.  Comments will close on Sunday at 8pm PT.

The Gingerbread House Decorating Contest entry by me, Shay, Susan and little J
My community otherwise: My community has grown to include a group of lovely women who support one another in faith and fun.  We shared a Bible study on friendship this summer and we hope to keep the group together with another study this winter.  Once a month many of us gather for a regular Mexican train domino night with appetizers and dessert.  There is always much trash talk of who is going to win the night and to be honest I usually win!  So look out ladies I'll be there in January!  The past two Christmas we've held a Gingerbread House Decorating Contest.  Here is my entry from this year.  Much better than last year in which we won the "habitat for humanity" award.  (A gentle way of saying it was rickety and barely standing!)

Then there is my dance community.  Nia has been a great home for me since I left my dance group back in Denver.  It has provided me not only with physical exercise but an emotional outlet.  Bonus:  the people I dance with are fun and silly just like me!  (Up there is a little promo video my Nia teacher and dear friend, Pauline, did of class.  Can you pick me out?)

Goofing off at Thanksgiving

My husband and I have been able to establish a little second family here.  Those friends that we go camping with, celebrate holidays together, and generally are there for each other to help out when needed.  This year in 2010 was the first time the group felt solid and really there to support one another and most like extended family.

Finally I've also been able to reconnect some with my Colorado community this year.  My friend Liz and I have been faithful in having weekly chats on Wednesdays in which to gossip, encourage, and celebrate our friendship.  It is so nice to have our weekly visits.  I can't express how much she lifts my spirits!  Maybe in 2011 we can plan another girls' trip like this one of us in San Francisco.

Somehow I also managed to become the coordinator of a somewhat monthly book club done via Skype with my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and two cousins.  We expanded our group last month with the inclusion of my aunt.  Each member has gotten to chose a book and we find questions to ask for discussion.  Most of the time we are able to stay on topic but it is fun to have something fun and silly to share with my family.  So far we've read Winter's GardenThe 19th Wife, The Film Club, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and most recently The Help.  Our meeting for Christmas is Guernsey style with each member reading a Christmas story of their own choosing to share with the group.  I found a fun old copy of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol that I hope I can read in time and I picked up a book titled An Amish Christmas which look intriguing.  Hopefully 2011 will be filled with more reading, enlightening discussion, and fun family time.

Hope you have a great weekend surrounded by community spirit!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saint Nicholas

Image via Nest Full of Eggs
I love this beautiful celebration of Saint Nicholas featured on Nest Full of EggsThis site also has some wonderful information about Saint Nicholas and this special holiday if, like me, you just thought Saint Nicholas was another name for Santa Claus. 

My husband and I seem to split our Christmas festivities between are two families and rarely have a quiet celebration for ourselves.  Saint Nicholas Day might be a way we could celebrate just the two of us! 

PS.  Aren't those wooden shoes beautiful!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

List Twenty Two: Things I forget

  1. Walk downstairs only to turn around blankly starring wondering why I went down there in the first place.
  2. One random item on my list at the grocery store, usually deodorant or toothpaste.
  3. Birthdays in time to send that birthday card or present in the mail.  I'll think of the birthday two or three weeks before but then it seems to early to send something and I'm sure I'll remember once it comes around to it.
  4. Changing over all the calendars in my house.  Come to think of it the one in my bedroom is still on November.
  5. Eating.  Occasionally if I'm really stressed about something going on I'll forget to stop and eat which of course only makes the forgetting more prevalent not to mention making me cranky with a headache.  So overall not good.
  6. To do these lists each week.
  7. Make my bed.  I hate crawling into an unmade bed at night so sometimes my bed is only made up for few seconds before I crawl into it.
  8. To take pictures during a party.  We had a joint surprise birthday party last night for my husband and a close friend and not one single picture was taken. :(
  9. All the things I meant to put on this list in the first place when I was thinking of it last night!
Do you ever find yourself forgetting things?

One thing I did not forget was to tell you all how amazed I am in the interest in the Embroidery Companion Sew Along.  Thank you to Alicia for mentioning it on her blog.  I'm excited to begin stitching with you all in the coming year ahead!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Announcing Embroidery Companion Sew Along

If you've been reading for awhile you know I am smitten with Alicia Paulson's latest book Embroidery Companion.  First it was the "blossom napkins" and then the "eyelet sampler."  Nearly every project out of the thirty brings me inspiration and a desire to stitch.  What better way to stay motivated to complete these lovely projects then with a Sew Along! 

Alicia has included embroidery projects for each and every level.  She has an excellent way of explaining each project so that it feels easy and doable even to the novice sewer.  In all honestly I haven't been doing embroidery for very long myself.  I know if I can do these projects each month, you can too!  We'll both be amazed with ourselves when we look around and see all the beautiful creations we've made.

The Embroidery Companion Sew Along will be a monthly sew along all through 2011 beginning the first of January.  This will give everyone time to order their books or perhaps you could put it on your Christmas wish lists!

How the Sew Along Will Work!

  • I will announce the embroidery pattern on or around the first of each month.  A few months may have an bonus project.  I'm not sure if we will complete all thirty projects but we will do a majority of them.
  • You will need to join the Embroidery Companion Sew Along Group on Flickr.  This way we can each ooh and ahh over all our lovely stitches!  It is very easy and free to set up of Flickr account if you don't have one already.
  • When you finish the month's project take some pictures and post them on Flickr and your blog if you'd like.  Please be sure to link back to this post.  (My husband and I are working on creating a badge button for you to use.) 
  • I am also trying to organize some monthly prizes to those who participate.  More details to follow on that.  (If you'd be interested in donating something as a giveaway item please contact me at annette (at) sunday-special (dot) net.)

To kick off this Sew Along, Alicia has been very generous and sent me a signed copy of her book, Embroidery Companion to give away to one lovely reader.  To be entered leave a comment on this post telling me of your experience with embroidery. Comments will close on Sunday December 12th at 8pm PT.  The winner will be selected and announced on Monday the 13th.  Good luck and happy stitching ahead!



Sue Prindle Wendy was selected as the winner of the signed copy of Embroidery Companion.  Wendy has been contacted by email.  Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments.  How I wish I could send each of you a copy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Introducing Daisy

Patrick and I brought Miss Daisy home with us on Monday evening.  She is the most adorable, soft little Cavalier puppy.  Her favorite things to do are lick your face, cuddle up in your lap, follow your every footstep, and play with her chew toys.  We're so exicted to have her as part of our family!