Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2

Monday, July 17, 2017

🐩

Hi friends! Here is an updated picture of where I am at on Forever Be My Always by Emma Congdon.
We had a nice birthday celebration for Emerson yesterday. He actually turns 21 on Thursday. Thank you for your birthday wishes for him.😊
The Baker's Daughter, by Sarah McCoy  is a novel I listened to last week. It was good, but I had a hard time getting into Reba, one of the two main characters. 
In this New York Times bestseller, two women in different eras face similar life-altering decisions, the politics of exclusion, the terrible choices we face in wartime, and the redemptive power of love.
In 1945, Elsie Schmidt is a naive teenager, as eager for her first sip of champagne as she is for her first kiss. She and her family have been protected from the worst of the terror and desperation overtaking her country by a high-ranking Nazi who wishes to marry her. So when an escaped Jewish boy arrives on Elsie’s doorstep on Christmas Eve, Elsie understands that opening the door would put all she loves in danger.

Sixty years later, in El Paso, Texas, Reba Adams is trying to file a feel-good Christmas piece for the local magazine, and she sits down with the owner of Elsie's German Bakery for what she expects will be an easy interview. But Reba finds herself returning to the bakery again and again, anxious to find the heart of the story—a story that resonates with her own turbulent past. For Elsie, Reba’s questions are a stinging reminder of that last bleak year of World War II.

As the two women's lives become intertwined, both are forced to confront the uncomfortable truths of the past and seek out the courage to forgive.
I see beautiful sunsets like these a few times a week out my kitchen window while I sit and stitch in the evening. I just love pink in the sky.❤️

Thank you, thank you, thank you for you dear words of comfort and compassion. I am so blessed to have friends such as you! How nice of you to take a moment and leave me a word, after little Mabel's passing. I read each and every one of those comments and they all touched my heart so very much. We are healing and crying less. Sure, we still wish we had our precious girl, but she suffers no more. Henry seems to be over his depression. God bless his little heart. He is trying to become buddies with Murphy. Since Murphy was adopted by us at 12 years old and is now almost 14 years old, he is very used to being a lone dog. We will see if little Henry can make a buddy out of Murph yet!πŸ˜‰

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
puppy Mabel


Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy Birthday

Hi friends. I want to thank you with my whole heart. You have reached out and shown me true friendship. I have been comforted by your sweet messages. Thank you. Thank you for caring. It means a lot. It makes a difference. I feel the love. It brings joy, yes joy to my heart knowing so many of you cared about little Mabel. And my heart needs that. I know so very many of you know just what this feels like, losing a dear, beloved pet. That broken, crumpled heart feeling. Thank you once again for your kindness.

I finished Happy Birthday, pattern #6 in the Anniversaries of the Heart series. This sampler is dedicated to my paternal grandparents. My Grandpa died when I was only 6 months old. My Grandma died right after I turned one year old. Here is their wedding picture. Isn't this fantastic?
The upper third of my Happy Birthday had to be altered. When stitching this entire sampler series one over one on 25ct linen, some alterations are necessary to fit names and dates. So I created a different border to go across the top of the pattern. I am happy with how the names and dates fit. 😊
(One over one on 25ct cream Dublin linen)

I used all DMC on this. I changed the pinks and the purple, in the same way I did on Pink Hill Manor. I also changed the brown of the house to 3864. I changed the grey of the roof to 318.

And the really obvious change?! HA! Out with the birds, in with the poodles! I put in two Mabels in Pink Hill Manor. I put in two Henrys in Happy Birthday. How do you like that?!? Personally, I LOVE it!πŸ’•
 That is my father's sampler you can just see above this one, his parent's sampler.❤️


Okay, tied with my favorite Maisie Dobb books, is this book for best book I read this year. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is sooooo good! You should read it. There. That is all I need to say.
In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
 I am now finally back to stitching on the big anniversary gift I am making for Brian, Forever Be My Always by Emma Congdon.
I hope you have a restful weekend my friends. We will be celebrating Emerson's 21st birthday with family on Sunday afternoon.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie




Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Our Mabel

Oh friends. Our Mabel is gone. She died very early this morning with all five of us around her, here at home. She is so very loved.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 Thank you for your love and support and prayers. God bless you all.

Crying and praying,
Vickie

























Monday, July 10, 2017

Mabel

Hi friends! I would like to show you my July displays. Not the best close ups, I know. Sorry.
I am close to done with AotH Happy Birthday. I did not take a picture. I will share the finish next time.

We took Mabel to the vet first thing this morning. She has diabetes, pancreatitis, and liver problems. This all came on suddenly. As in within the last half week she began vomiting, diarrhea, laying around listlessly. She has been losing weight. That is why we took her in to see the vet last week. Then all of this happened. We did not know what was happening inside of her.  She is in the vet clinic all day today and tomorrow, on IV fluids and she is getting insulin now. She is on antibiotics and pain pills too. Our poor, sweet girl. My pretty princess.
She has lost so much weight so very rapidly. At her chubbiest this year from the steroids, she was 15 lbs. She is now 10.8 lbs. The veterinarian was honest with us and said she has a 50/50 chance of living. Oh Mabel.
Friends, I know she is just a dog. But she is my poodle. I love her very, very much. If you pray for pets, would you pray for Mabel? We thank you.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie


Friday, July 7, 2017

Sweet Summer Gift

Hi friends! I was able to go to the 4th of July parade. Our parade is at 7 in the evening, and it was cool that night and I did not get a headache either!πŸ˜„

I received the most sweet surprise in the mail from our friend Stasi. Stasi had a piece of her stitchery that she wanted to give a good home. She offered this to anyone who wanted to make it up into something.  I entered this giveaway as it is cute and PINK! Well  our friend RJ won the giveaway. I congratulated RJ and that was that. Not so! Sweet RJ told Stasi she would like her to give it to me since she knows I love pink and RJ is now gone on a 2 month long trip.  THANK YOU RJ! THANK YOU STASI! Here is the piece. I have made it into a pin pillow.
I am working on Happy Birthday, the  next chart in chronological order for AotH. As you know, the DMC suggested is not always matching up to the pattern cover pictures. So over the long weekend I stitched up the house. I had a bad feeling about the color. I should have stopped. Yes, SHOULD have. I told myself it will be okay. I don't know why!! It just kept eating away at me. Here is how it DID look. I took a picture of it next to the pattern picture for you. My stitched house is on the left. Pattern on the right.
NOT THE SAME. NOPE. So.... I stared at that completed house for two days. And then ripped out all that recommended off brown/612 and put in 3864. I used this in Pink Hill Manor with these same pinks that are being used here again. It looks good there, it looks good here. Take a look. Here is the new, improved house.
I am now working on those trees! Oh lazy daisy stitches don't go quick for me.😡

A few of you recommended All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer to me so I put myself on the waiting list of Over Drive, our digital library. I borrow all my audio books from my library.😊 I like free!πŸ˜‰ This was an excellent book. I was very surprised by what I thought was an abrupt ending. Maybe I was too immersed in the story while stitching? I actually went back to the first five minutes of the story and listened to it again for the sake of clarity.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
I do hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you are doing my friends! Thank you for stopping by and leaving me such nice notes of encouragement.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
Miss Mabel sunbathing





Friday, June 30, 2017

Lily of the Valley

Hi friends! I finished up Lily of the Valley by Blackbird Designs. This is a pattern I borrowed from our friend Catherine.
Catherine changed a few colors on her piece and inspired me to do likewise. I made mine more pink. Shocking, I know! The pattern calls for WDW floss and I only used one of those that was called for!! Caper. I used VMSS flosses and DMC for the remainder.

This is the fabric I backed this pillow with.
Do not even ask me about the trim. I am so disappointed with how I sewed it in. ugh. I sewed it in Wednesday night during a HUGE thunderstorm. There were tornado sirens going off. My headache went up  with the pressure system I guess. There is no other explanation truly. I did not even go outside that day, and it was not hot either. So I don't think I was thinking clearly through the pain. All I know is I turned the pillow inside out and my corners are all tight and curved?And I am not redoing it! I was going for this look I did years ago.

I won a giveaway from our friend Minnie. Isn't this a sweet pattern? Thank you again Minnie!

The latest book I read while walking the treadmill was The Photo Album by Marlene Chase. This is the third book in Annie's Attic Mysteries, a kind of cozy mystery series. Annie knits and crochets. Her best friend Alice cross stitches. If you like simple mysteries, in a small town atmosphere kind of books, this series is for you.

"No one seems to recognize the young man caught in the background of some old photos that Annie found in the attic of Grey Gables. But Mary Beth, owner of A Stitch in Time, turns strangely pale when Annie shows the photos at the Hook and Needle Club meeting. Annie is determined to find out who this stranger is and what became of him. His young, sad face haunts her and she feels compelled to unearth his story. Then disturbing information gleaned from old newspapers and a seemingly unrelated hit-and-run accident injuring her handyman's daughter, Emily, seem to bring danger closer and closer to Annie as she pursues the truth about the young man in the photos"
I am now beginning the next sampler in the AotH series, which is Happy Birthday. oooO what a pretty one it is!! Yes, lots of pink! πŸ’•

Here is somebunny I watch out the kitchen window as I stitch. One of the bunnies born this spring. He is getting big now. He is munching a dandelion leaf here. Good for you Bugs!! (Yes, Brian named him Bugs Bunny ;) Since I can't get out to weed as much, I can use the help. HA!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friends! I am going to attempt the Fourth of July parade.πŸ—½ If the weather cooperates. Happy Independence Day to my American friends!πŸŽ† I hope you have a nice loooong weekend! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Stitching and praying,
Vickie



Friday, June 23, 2017

Farm House

Hi friends! I finished Farm House this week. What a pretty sampler this is. It is Madeleine's sampler.
Stitched one over one on 25ct cream Dublin linen
I made many color changes. I used DMC and VMSS I used VMSS Antique Var Lilacs for the birds and VMSS 1795 Faded Celery instead of DMC 833. The purple suggested in DMC, 553,  for the flowers was replaced with 3041 because it was nowhere near the cover picture. 543 was replaced with Ecru so it showed up on my linen. The front door to the house has almost a bluish color to it. I replaced 3799, a solid grey with 3768. It compliments the house color nicely now! The roof color suggested, 3787, was so wrong, I replaced it with 317. Finally, I stitched the windowsills up in 738.

As you can see, Madeleine has quite a long name, so I had to take out a few motifs and one bird. I also moved that remaining bird on the left up one. I once again left off some of the small diamond motifs. I like the simplicity of the sampler better this way when it is stitched one over one.

I am now stitching up BBD The Lily of the Valley. This is a class project from a BBD retreat that our friend Catherine has borrowed me. Thanks again Catherine! 😊 It is such a pretty piece. It does not give the DMC conversions, so I had to look those up. I only had two of the WDW flosses. It took me ages to settle on flosses and linen. Only to discover my perfect linen choice was 28ct not the called for 32ct. I just decided to stitch it one over one on the 28ct. Imagine that, huh?! πŸ˜‰ I know. I know. So many of you do NOT prefer one over one, but I DO. What can I say? Right Carol?
I just finished an audio book, Songs of Willow Frost and what a good one it was! This was a new author to me. His name is Jamie Ford. This book intrigued me with the main character, a little Chinese boy who is an orphan in a Catholic orphanage. It was just so different than anything else I had read,so I wanted to read it. And it was different. I am glad I read it. It was good and interesting and I learned too.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.

Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.
On Tuesday all three of the baby robins left the nest. How fun to watch Mom and Dad Robin teach the little ones how to live out in the big world.
Thank you for your kind words my friends. I hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie