Thanksgiving and Blue Bird finished

This is Thanksgiving week and I am so thankful for my friends and family. I am thankful for all of you who visit my blog too, it makes it fun to write when you know someone is taking the time to read what you have to say. Anytime you would like…chime in, just leave me a comment. If it’s a question I will try and answer you quickly and if I don’t know will ask around and see what I can find out for you.

2015-11-24 BB a need stitchesAnd this week I am so-o-o-o thankful that I am finished with the Melissa Shirley Blue Bird. The last thing I needed to do was fill in around all the flowers that have empty canvas threads showing with the Silk ‘n Ivory. I need to block and finish finish. I 2015-11-24 BB b stitchesdon’t think that will happen until after the first of next year.

I looked at all the pieces and decided that even though there are a few ribbon stitches I really
reverted back to the tried and true French Knots, Satin Stitch 2015-11-24 BB alland Woven Stitch. Stitches I was familiar with and could do without much though. Ribbon work with Silk Flowers I can see is going to take more study.

This is the time of the year I begin to reflect on what I have and have not done this year. And so far my incomplete pile is growing larger than my completion list. I have gotten many needlepoints pieces stitched, just haven’t finished them up. Maybe this will be my goal for 2016… I’ll have to give this some thought.

For now I will leave you with pictures of a few of my completed birds fitting for this week. May you and yours have a great Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday will be joyful and merry and safe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeed

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today and all through this holiday week-end.

ttfn…sue

Soap Box & Stitching

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving; we did, lots of food and family, just what Thanksgiving is all about. I think it is very sad that this was the 150 year since President Abe Lincoln proclaimed this a national federal holiday and we have consecutively celebrated it as such. But no mention of this fact just that our greedy big box stores and media needed to put the almighty dollar ahead of family values.

And thank goodness for Tony Rohr, my 2013 man of the year who stood up and said enough. I think it is ironic that Pizza Hut announced on Thanksgiving that they were hiring him back when the day before they said he was not fired but quit. Pizza Hut missed the out by not saying, You’re absolutely right and all Pizza Huts will be closed on Thanksgiving and we will reopen on Black Friday with a Black Friday special of $x.xx pizzas…no limit….People would have flocked to their doors.

And then on Saturday to add to the media frenzie the reports were out: Thanksgiving day shopping was up 20%…no duh…1st time for this…but Friday sales were down 20% …hum could this be the Thursday sales? But then these retailers never figured in the expense of paying these employees and the overhead of lights, water and heat to operate these stores. And the gravy on the turkey was when it was reported that Penny’s, Target, K mart and Macy’s were caught selling things at higher prices than the tags were originally marked or the items had previously offered in their stores at lower prices. Their answer; it was a price point adjustment…it was an adjustment all right…greed.

We used to have “Blue Laws” nothing was open on Sundays and holidays that was not essential. Some groceries, drug stores had limited hours but other than that it was police, fire and emergency personal. And you know what I survived!

And that’s my soap box stance for this year…don’t start me on Christmas…but just so you know I am thinking of creative ways to buy gifts this year that do not support those big box stores that were open on Thanksgiving. I would rather pay a little more for that toy at a local, home owned toy store or shop that supports my local economy than line some corporate exec or shareholders pockets.

But there was one good thing that came from this shopping/media frenzy…I stayed home all week-end! And so last week-end I had time to finish my stitching…I did not shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd SundayI thought I was ready to do a happy dance and send this needlepoint off to the framer…But, oh no, I forgot I had one more step…

Removed canvas from stretcher bars:

13-12-02 asain collage drawingPlaced a piece of nice muslin… and yes there are varying degrees of muslin just visit any JoAnn’s fabric just to see how many types of muslin there are not to mention natural or bleached…I used natural. Okay press flat so there are no folds or wrinkles, place over top of stretcher bars and wrap to back of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbars and secure with tacks or staples, pulling taut, not tight but taut without much give but not tight enough to bounce a quarter off the surface. Over the muslin place a piece of natural batting… secure to sides of stretcher bars with tacks or staples. I did not pull the batting other than to make it lie flat on top of the muslin. Then on top of this I put the needlepoint back on the stretcher bars pulling snuggly.

Then I took a nap 😉

Now it is time to stich around each of the motif/patterns with beading floss over two threads…I’m going to do the foreground first and then mid ground and finally background…

Be back one of these days…

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving; you had time to spend with family and  stitch too.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Soapbox Thanksgiving Shoping

I think I am one of a handful of people who did not shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Cyber Monday. I relaxed and enjoyed Thanksgiving. I was thankful for the time away from the maddening crowds.

On Black Friday, DH decided he wanted to venture into the world of smart phones and conned me into going with him to the phone store (a free lunch and a trip to Starbucks will get me every time.) So with much trepidation and my Starbucks heavy caffeine in hand I ventured to the phone store with him. Miracle of miracles, we were the only shoppers in the store! Had a great salesman, he must have been great, he sold DH a smart phone and two tablets, even offered me a new phone. Was in the store less than thirty minutes, spent a small fortune and was out as the crowds were gathering.

Monday, I ordered another stylist from Wacom for DH’s tablet so he will leave mine alone and replacement nibs for the one that is broken. I couldn’t get the nibs anywhere but online and so got pen there too. This was quick, painless and less than 5 minutes; done and off the internet for the day. I went to guild meeting with friends, more fun than shopping on the computer.

But this morning I woke up to find a craft store/fabric store survey on my computer. Would I take 5 minutes to fill out for an “extra special” coupon? Okay, I’ll bite. So I linked my little fingers to their sight. Two questions Did I go out Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving/ early Black Friday? NO. Did I Christmas shop online Monday? NO. Survey over, less than a minute and  thank you very much here is your “extra special” 15% off coupon. I wondered if I had shopped Thanksgiving and early Black Friday if my “extra special” coupon would be different. So back to the web page to answer (falsely) the questions…Did I shop? Yes and on and on probably answered 20-25 questions for an “extra special” coupon of another whooping 15% off coupon. I don’t know what this company learned from this survey but I learned a couple things: #1- they don’t care why I did not shop these days and #2 I don’t need to waste my time on their survey I get better discounts from them in the mail (the ones I get in the mail are 40-50% off) and in the newspaper.

This whole experience has made me wonder even more what we are teaching the next generation. Isolationism, no social skills, no verbal communication skills, no writing skills (they are taking penmanship out of the schools…we will be back to signing an “X” in a generation or so… oh, that’s right they are the X generation…fitting. Family traditions and values are going out the window…commercialism is in.

Getting down off my soapbox before I fall off it. I’ll be  back in a couple days with what I really was going to post about this week…the ornament I finished over the week-end instead of shopping.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving and I do not like the fact that the media and retail business has decided to move from Halloween to Christmas without a thought about Thanksgiving. I am so disappointed in one of our local Thanksgiving traditions, the lighting of the Country Club Plaza (http://www.countryclubplaza.com/Events/Plaza-Lights ). Many of the merchants of the Plaza have decided to open up their businesses and make a profit from a long standing non comercial tradition; somehow that seems to tarnish the effect and spirit of this tradition.  It seems in these troubled times we should slow down, think about and be grateful for the many blessings and freedoms we have. One day set aside to be thankful, grateful and positive…yet we can’t be bothered. What does that say about us as a society?

I am on a one lady crusade to not be party to this mass hysteria. At 1 PM Wednesday I picked up my pie from the grocery store (oh what a frenzy was happening there too) and am home for the week-end.  Friday and Saturday I am going to stitch the day away and listen to music or watch old movies. Saturday afternoon I may venture out to support local small businesses and purchase a few small handmade gifts, but I won’t be out there more than an hour and I may even wait…no gift is worth the hysteric frenzy people get into this week-end.  Thursday I will fix dinner for my wonderful family and friends and be grateful for the time we spend together. I may not even watch the Plaza lighting since I’m sure the media will focus on the shopping and not the beautiful lights.

Okay, I will get off my soapbox and share with you what I intended before the local news came on the TV and incited me.

I have a Turkey collection I have shared before (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/happy-thanksgiving-or-a-3-c-week/ ) but today I want to show you my Pilgrims and Indians. When I started collecting decorations for Thanksgiving in the 1970’s, my first decorations were this Mr and Mrs Pilgrim but no Indians were to be found.  I decided then that my Pilgrims would have to have Indians with them or they could not be part of my collection. I now have 5-6 sets and all but my first set have Pilgrims and Indians.

Until this week…my oldest son made Indians for my pilgrims. Of course he had to add his own special touches…Mic-o-say claws on my Indians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribe_of_Mic-O-Say). And that’s okay too; Mrs Indian is the first “Honored woman” in our family.

So today Mr and Mrs Pilgrim are grateful for their new Indian friends (and so am I), they no longer stand alone on the shelf in November. I am also grateful for the family and friends who are going to be with us today or in our thoughts and prayers and I will remember those friends and family who are looking down on us and smiling that we are keeping a long standing tradition of family, friends, good food and special times.

And I am thankful for all of you too who stop by and read my meanderings. I will try to get back to stitching related blogs but life does intermingle with my stitching obsessions. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you are surrounded by friends and family to enjoy Thanksgiving  and you still find time to stitch this week-end!
ttfn…sue

Happy Thanksgiving or a 3 C week

I am in the middle of the three C’s this week: Cleaning, Cooking and Computing. Mostly cleaning and cooking since I am having two Thanksgiving dinners this year; 1st on the day, everybody has to eat and then on Sunday with all the family and friends. And when you have a house full of people you have to make it presentable so they can mess it up…so I am cleaning. Not that I just clean when company is coming, because someone is here most every weekend for dinner.

But I cannot forget my computer. I like it better than TV. All the blogs (and especially the ones I follow and there are a bunch of these) are so much more interesting than the tripe on TV. My Mother said that every day you should learn something and I feel I do. Just reading all the neat and creative things others do is so humbling to me. I do not hold a candle to you all, you are so creative and inspiring. Thank you!

But I thought I’d take time to share my turkeys with you…

These are the first six that started my collection. The one on the right was the very 1st and he came from a consignment store that supported the elderly by selling there crafts. I never get him out that I don’t think of all those wonderfully creative people who have come and gone in our lives. I had this poor lonely turkey sitting on my mantle with a bunch of candle sticks and my saintly Mother told me; “You decorate with a great Halloween display, and your Christmas is lovely; but your Thanksgiving display is not worth a $#!+***! Needless to say after picking myself up off the floor I simple replied, “Then go shopping.” And shopping she did, within a week I had the other five to start my collection. As I was arranging them on the mantle I noticed they bore a great resemblance to the men in my life at the time: Three sons, two grandsons and of course the patriarch of the flock. I assembled them pretty much like you see them in this picture and waited. That year on Thanksgiving it wasn’t long before one of my two legged turkeys came into the kitchen to tell me my turkey display was not funny. Before the day was out all my sons had made some comment…I guess they are either on my wave length or Humm, if the feathers fit….

And so grew another collection…The ones on the other side of the mantle are an eclectic collection I change every year. The turkey on the right is Janet Zickler Casey’s (http://www.jzcdesigns.com/index.htm) Tom-tom Turkey and his feathers are so pretty that when I display him on the mantle I pin his feathers on so you can see them. (Also showing you a picture of the back; the tail feathers are supposed to Velcro to the back) The Indian Girl, my mother started when she was in her late 80’s. She finished all but a few stitches so I finished her up and she proudly sits on the mantle every year. The Indian bear I have no idea whose painted canvas this is, and I always wanted a Pilgrim to go with him. The small ones in the front are a Hallmark do-dad on right and then these are two shell figures my Grandmother used in her village she set up every year. I painted the box years ago…it was my painting period and I loved hex signs. Always wanted to own a hex sign, but I never thought about the true size of them until we were in Pennsylvania and I saw them…oh my, BIG. The drum on the left is a Kathy Schenkel (http://www.kathyschenkel.com/index.htm) canvas piece; it was a long panel and no longer listed but if you ask she might paint it and my finisher Patty thought it made a perfect drum. There were two stalks of wheat but I only stitched one and I used a button for the turkey. I also have a larger version of the Kathy Schenkel turkey (HX107) (top shelf on the left in cabinet) I stitched with a stitch guide for my local shop. And of course, the picture of one of my Grandsons, who is in the Navy AND will be home for Christmas this year.

Okay I guess I have procrastinated long enough, the house is not cleaning itself. Thank you very much for stopping by to see what I am doing. I am grateful for all my family and friends, good health,  all of you who stop by to visit and for all those who take the time to write about your lives and creativity too.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and have time to stitch today and all week-end!  ttfn…sue