Friday, August 15, 2014

Stitching complete

 I've finished up the stitching on my floral glove.  Do I ever need some classes on goldwork.  It's a hot mess.  :-)  But now I know it's not the piece of cake I thought it would be so I'll go find some books and in person classes on it.  I would like to get really good at it as I love it.  I'm already working on the finishing and I would love to make some progress here but I have a pretty full weekend with quilting a quilt that I need to give away next Friday - nothing like waiting to the last minute. 

Here is the first part of the Cruella DeVille costume that I'm making for one of my great nieces.  Next for this one a black and white cocktail style dress. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


So close to finishing up the stitching on my floral glove.  It's been harder than I thought it would be.  In theory, it's just couching but getting it just right is more difficult.  I really need to take an in person gold work class.  Thistle Threads still offers an online course but I really want in person.  And I already send them so much $$ a month for my stumpwork, I can't bare sending more!  LOL!

I'm still planning on getting this puppy done by tomorrow night.  Then (gasp) I can start the finishing! 

Here is my progress on my third panel for my Etui - not as much as I've been hoping for but I haven't had many train rides over the past two weeks and this is my current train project.  I ordered the Shepherd's Bush Shepherd's Fold pieces and I was really hoping to finish this before the pull of that makes me put this aside.  :-)  We'll see how strong I am.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fun at the Faire

 I totally had a blast at the Renaissance Faire on Saturday.  And I even managed to get some stitching and quilting done.  I have started on the medal work on my floral glove.  And I'm officially finished with Part 3.  Only one more stitching section to go and the I get to start finishing this one.  It's going to go fast now and only couching of medal threads and more of the medal overlays.  I can actually see myself finishing the stitching by the weekend if I keep at it at night. 
 Here is my start of my first Amy Mitten casket toys.  This will be a needle case when it's complete.  Amy's instructions are so complete and I'm going to learn and practice many skills that I need for a successful casket.  I'm getting happy with how my long and short stitches are progressing.  I still have room for improvement but I'm so much better than my first attempts. 
 I also managed to complete month six of my Civil War Tribute quilt (four 12 inch blocks).  To be honest, I really rushed this as my heart wasn't in it and the seems are so wonky it's embarrassing.  I'm not going to start month seven because it will be more of the same attitude.  Just because it's not my favorite right now, doesn't mean that I can rush to get it over with - way to much money is invested not to do my best work.  I'll go back to my Hampton Ridge BOM for the time being.  But in any case, I still have seven Halloween costumes and several more pirate outfits to get done before October 31st.  I really won't have time to quilt!
Here I am at the Ren Faire with my friend Susie.  We had so much fun!  And I loved dressing up in my corset and new skirt.  Susie of course looked divine in her red harem girl outfit but then she looks good in a paper bag.  :-)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Quilting too!

 As you can see, I'm still over the place with regards to current projects.  Here is my floral glove progress.  I've started couching other things!  :-)  I'm hoping by the end of the weekend, I'm actually laying some of the medal threads.  Way cool.  :-)

 In between Halloween costumes and pirate costumes, I decided I needed to get some piecing done.  These are the four 12" blocks of month five for the Civil War Tribute quilt I started four or so years ago.  It was a block of the month quilt that will fit my king size bed.  The sad part is, I no longer really like it.  It's a little too civil war for my tastes now with it's super muddy colors and lots of pink.  But I'm going to finish it - it was way too much money in fabric not to.  Over $250 I think with the backing fabric.  And to add a little insult to injury, I think this one is too big for my machine quilter.  I can handle up to 90" and I'm pretty sure this one finishes off more than that.  So I have to send it out.  But I'm pushing on regardless.  I'm about half way with month six even as I write this post - I wish that were half way but I still have the biggest piecing months ahead - month seven is eight 12 " blocks and month nine is the center medallion and it's huge with a ton of set in seams if I'm not mistaken.  I'm also going to try to find time for the Hampton Ridge BOM also.  I only did the first three months and I have seven months sitting on my quilting table.  I think they are sending me month ten this week - I was determined to stay current with this one too.  HA!  Fat chance of that happening.  I haven't purchased any quilting stuff in over a year (except for Hampton Ridge) thank goodness.  In addition to these two quilts, I think I have about 10 or so quilt tops totally ready to be cut out and pieced. 
Here is Halloween costume #1 - Elsa!  My great niece Claire is dying to be her and this one turned out so sparkly.  I still think I might find a way to add sequin or crystal snowflakes to the overlay.  And a crown of course.  Claire can't be a snow princess without a crown. 

Next up a series of villains.  My nephew Larry, his wife Shelley and their daughter Morgan all want to be Disney villains.  So bring on Gaston, the Evil Queen from Snow White and Cruella DeVil.  Then Claire's brother is going to be Kristoff from Frozen and no idea yet what their parents (my niece and her husband) want to be.  My sister keeps saying she doesn't want to be anything but I'll try to talk her into something.  Or she would be the only person not in costume.  I think she would be great as a queen of some sort also.  I'll do mine last (Merida).  Then bring on the pirates!  :-)  It's a good think I like working on costumes or I'd be feeling overwhelmed.  :-)

Have a great weekend!  Renaissance Faire for me.  :-)  I can't wait. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Lots of projects

 I went from working on nothing to what seems like tons!  Here is my progress on my floral glove project.  I started the gold couching.  I'm happy with how I'm getting it on but it's slow.  I'm sure I'll get faster as I get experience.  I also received my casket toys in the mail last week from Amy Mitten.  Wow the quality is amazing.  I've done all the prework and I'm ready to start stitching.  And I really want to start stitching but I told myself I have to get a little more work done on my glove first. 
 For the train I picked up again my Petit Sampling Etui.  This one is the panel designed by Praiseworthy Stitches.  I'm sure it will go fast like the others have. 
Here is my finished Renaissance Faire costume.  I LOVE how it turned out and the fit is perfect.  I love it when a plan comes together.  I'm now working on a couple more costumes.  I'm going on a Disney cruise over Halloween and we all need costumes for the costume party.  I'm going to be Merida from Brave and I'm working on a Elsa and Kristoff from Frozen for one of the great nieces and great nephew and Cruella Deville for the other great niece.  Plus a couple more pirate outfits for pirate night.  :-)  I really love to sew costumes. 

Chris - the Grand Marquior was a free chart.  I'm not sure if it's still available anywhere but I still have the files - just email me and I'll forward them to you. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grand Marquior Finis

Grand Marquior by Isabelle Haccourt Vautier
35 count Havana by Weeks Dye Works
HDF Imperialosity and BeWooded

Wow, I started this piece on February 5, 2009.  No idea it would take me five years to complete.  :-)  Here is the detail of the last release from 2010 which was U, W, X and Z. 

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a couple of years will perhaps remember that my family has a tradition of the four kids making each other plus the parents a gift for Christmas.  The last time around I made counted needlepoint designs that the following year my brother made a wooden box for.  Well my year came around again and it's my job to make four gifts (and one for me of course).  It's almost August and I haven't even really given any thought to it. I had thought that maybe it would be a good year to make more stained glass hangings.  I did that around 15 years ago and everyone really like them but it's super expensive and I'd rather not spend a huge amount of money this year not to mention they can be very time consuming to make with all the steps.  So I spent the evening going through my stash looking for ideas.  And found something!  I'm going to stitch everyone a BBD piece called Winter Delivery and make it into a box.  It's a small piece - only 5" x 5" when complete so it will be totally doable in the time I have left for the year.  I'll make each one on a different color linen (already prepared five) and make each box a little different.  They are small and hopefully won't put a ton of pressure on my other projects. I'm converting it into Belle Soie silks so it will be a little longer before I can start as I have to buy the fibers.  But I really like the idea and I'm hoping to won't lead to a slow down of work like my last go around did.  As I look back on the last couple of years, it was the needlepoint projects that really started to slow me down.  I really hate "HAVE TO" projects and it totally removes whatever desire I have to stitch.  :-(

This is where I left off on my costume over the weekend.  I've started to put the boning in the corset.  It takes forever and I have a really crappy pair of wire cutters.  I need to go buy another one this weekend.  But you can see how pretty it looks when the stays are in place (right side of the front is complete).  I'll have the entire costume finished this weekend.  I might be going to the Renaissance Faire with friends on the 9th (or later in the month, we haven't decided yet) so I really have to complete it just in case. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Last Block

I'm down to the last block of a six year journey for this piece.  The plan had been to complete each section of nine blocks as it was released.  That lasted for the first three releases.  Then the new house and other things intervened and I got sidetracked.  But no matter, it's almost completed.  As much as I like French inspired designs, this is the first one I'll ever complete.  I have one more French style WIP in my stash but a dozen or so charts.  The plan is to finish this in the next couple of days.  So the next photo of it will be the finis!  Yeah!

I did a little shopping over the weekend.  Amy Mitten makes the most delightful little do-dads for the caskets.  She calls them Casket Keepsakes and they are online classes.  She has released four now and I've just been looking at them to this point.  But Saturday I pulled the plug on the first release which is called Winter.  It's two little designs, one a thread winder holder and the other a needle holder.  The directions are amazingly complete and I can't wait to get started on them and I should have the supplies in hand by the weekend.  I actually should be able to do some of it on the train because they are small in hand pieces.  That would be awesome. 

Most of my space time over the past week has been working on my new pirate / wench costume.  I actually think the corset is going to work and I even have to take it in a tad.  The medal stays I ordered should be in today or tomorrow and then I'll know for sure how much altering it really needs.  Then I can start on the skirt.  I picked up the silk fabric and have already cut it out.  It's going to look so cute!  I'm also planning on making a second costume for the cruise in October because in addition to pirate night, there is going to be a Halloween costume party!  Our cruise leaves on the 31st so it will be perfect.  We all plan to be a Disney character and I'm going to be Merida from Brave this time around.  I have the Medieval dress pattern already and I picked out the clearance fabric now I just need to wait for a good sale.  :-)

Have a great week!  And thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully there will be a midweek update because I won't be able to wait an entire week to show of the Marquior.  :-)  I love the feeling of having a huge project finished.  hmmm....  but what to start on next?  Something new?  Or get back to something else?  I just don't know at this point...  :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

perfert weekend

I've had a great week of stitching.  I stitched on the train and even some at home at night.  That's the habit I want most to get back into - stitching at night rather than just rotting in front of the tv.  Talk about a waste of time.  I don't feel nearly as bad when I have something in my lap that I'm working on.  :-) 

I made good progress on my IsaV Marquior.  Here is the close up of the nine blocks of part five completed. 

This photo is pretty close to what the color looks like in real life.  In this photo, only six blocks to go.  But I really only have four to go to got so much finished over the past week.  :-)  I didn't take an updated photo after the weekend of stitching.  I might actually finish this puppy in July!  Yeah!
I also worked on my Floral Glove for a couple of hours yesterday.  I'm officially finished with Lesson One and almost have Lesson Two complete.  I can see improvement in my stitching from when I first started this piece.  My outline stitching (which you can't see) is much more even and I'm loving how my long and short stitching turned out.  I only have to finish up the silk flower in the middle of the piece.  Then it's onto the medal threads.  That will be an adventure. 
I'm having a hard time loving my current setup with my Needlepoint System 3 stand with my stitching.  No matter what I do I just can't get comfortable and end up hunched up all over the piece I'm working on.  I really think I need a different stand.  Ugh. 
And in true Margie fashion I went into the rabbit hole in the past week.  Several years ago I made a pirate costume for a trip to Disney World that I took with my family.  We all wanted to dress up as Disney characters for the Trick or Treat night in the Magic Kingdom.  I ended up dressing as Elizabeth Swan from Pirates of the Caribbean.  I love how it turned out and was planning on wearing it again this Halloween when we all go on a Disney cruise for that Trick or Treat night.  I'm also going to the local Renaissance Faire in a couple of weeks with friends and we are all planning on dressing up for that.  So I found all the pieces in storage and got them out so I can wash and iron them.  Now I have gained a few pounds (apparently more than a few) because when I tried it all on, nothing fit.  Not even close.  :-(  So I needed to make new stuff.  I always wanted a "real" Renaissance style dress so I thought this would be a good time to start working on a couple of pieces for it.  And here is what I did over the weekend.  It's a Renaissance style corset.  It's boned with medal stays and even has a wooden busk down the front.  I sure hope this fits ok.  I'm rather busty and you won't be able to really get a good feel for the fit until all the stays are in and that means it will be almost totally complete by then.  I can't even add up in the head all the $$ I've sunk into it but I'm having a blast putting it all together.  I already bought a new white shift from eBay for much less money than I could have made it and I found a beautiful gold silk for the overskirt in the discount rack at Joanne Fabrics.  So it looks like I'm making a wench costume that can double as a pirate costume for Disney.  If this corset doesn't work ok I'll still have time to make a much more conventional one. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

I can feel the end

I can really feel I'm getting close to finishing up this piece.  Only three blocks to go and I'm finished with the fifth set of nine.  And because I have already completed three blocks of the sixth and final section, I'll only have six to go there.  I can smell it.  :-) 

I broke down and purchased the released parts Shepherd's Bush pieces for Shepherd's Fold.  I'm hoping that will be my next start.  Hopefully it won't come too fast.  Next week or even the week after would be perfect.  And I'm still waiting for my supplies to come for the drawn thread class.  I have to admit, that's kinda irritating.  I understand running out of supplies.  But it irks me that the class as started and I have nothing to work on.  I was so looking forward to it.  Oh well, patience grasshopper, patience.  :-)

Monday, July 07, 2014

great weekend!

The weather was perfect here in Northern Illinois - so perfect I sat outside more than planned playing with the dogs and putting around the yard rather than sitting inside stitching.  Isabelle had a so-so 4th.  I stuck to my plan and she did ok with the fireworks and wasn't as frantic has she has been in the past.  I received a comment asking if I had ever tried a Thunder Shirt on her and yes, we own one.  It worked great the first year and for thunder for the rest of the year.  But she is a smart girl, now she knows what it means when I pull it out and gets frantic because she knows what's coming so I don't pull it out anymore. 
I finally finished up the prework portion of Scott Lee!  I've been plugging away at this Jean Hilton needlepoint for several years now but the worst is now behind me.  While is there some counting left, it's nothing like the first six steps of prework.  Each step should fly by now that I'm in the meat of it.  Of course that is until I start the 100's of Jessicas!  That stitch really eats the time away.
I've almost managed to finish the first lesson of my Floral Glove.  Five years after receiving it?  :-)  It's funny how this one seems easy compared to what I have ahead and all the apprehension I had over this piece just went away (the reason it got tucked away in the first place).  I see an improvement in my long and short stitching as I progress so I'm really glad I decided to finish this before starting on my mirror frame. 
As for stitching plans for the next week or so, I'm going to continue on my Grand Marquior in the train, finish Lesson One and Two of my Floral Glove and I'm hoping to pick up my Scott Lee now and again.  I really love counted needlepoint.  My drawn thread class is supposed to start tomorrow but I don't have any supplies yet.  So many people joined the class there wasn't enough supplies to go around and they are coming from France so it will be a while longer.  That's not really a bad thing I suppose but I would love to work on some of the prework for it.  I'm planning on doing both samplers at the same time so it will take a while to get through it all and it's not something I can do on the train so it has to be at night at home and that cuts into my oversized work which is all my at home projects right now.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Long weekend!

I've been making pretty good progress with my IsaV this week.  Stayed awake for five whole train rides so far!  :-) 
 Here is a photo of most of the stash I've received so far with my Casket classes. Yes, except for the medal threads, it's all silk. And really nice silk also. I can't wait to start using it for my stumpwork. 
 I was planning on starting work on my CoC frame over the weekend.  But I remembered that I had an old class hanging around from Thistle Threads - the Floral Glove.  And it has a lot of instructions about the techniques that I needed work with.  Like long and short shading and couching.  So I pulled it out and sat down and worked on it.  I think I'll do this before I start working on my frame.  I want to be in top form before starting it.  I also pulled another (free!) online tutorial from Nora Corbet on long and short stitching and I might even work on that for a while also.  Just reading the lessons helped with what I did on Sunday while working on the glove. 

I've got a four day weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July!  Part of the plan is to spend as much time playing with Isabelle the lab to tire her out.  She is so afraid of the fireworks and I live in a neighborhood where the kids are loaded down with the crap.  Her cave is already set up in the house and starting at around 6:00pm Friday I'll have the windows all shut and the music blasting to help drown out the noise.  Poor baby - I hate this time of year.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First Steps

Again, it sure has been a long time.  At least I've been stitching some.  That makes me feel marginally better.  :-)  I'm almost finished with the seventh row of my IsaV Marquior.  Two rows to go - been working on this since forever, since 2009 maybe?  But I can see the end at last.  If I would work on it everyday it would be complete in a couple of weeks.  Trying really hard to stay awake on the train because I really miss my old finis rate.    I'm doing mine on 35 count Weeks Dye Works Havana with HDF Imperialosity. 

 That and the Shepherds Bush Twined Heart have been my train projects.  I really enjoy working on the smallish SB projects.  I REALLY love the new one - the box with the sewing smalls.  But $50.00 for the first one!  Ouch.  So I don't have it.  :-)

 I've been spending most of my time thinking about starting my casket (there is actually someone finished already).  But haven't been able to do a single thing on it expect spend money on it.  I'm currently over $3,000 in class fees and supplies.  My monthly payment is over $160.00.  $110 for the casket and $55.50 for the stumpwork class.  You would think that would be enough to get me to do something, anything, but I just keep making more excuses.  I need this, I need that, need more time, more money or more skill.  So I got tired of all of that because I really miss stitching and the pressure of this just project is just killing me.  So I decided if I can't start the big project, let me at least start the smaller project that is optional for the second class - a framed mirror.  Of course, that one is mostly our cost (frame is $300) and it did cost me a buttload to get it started but here is the first step.  I transfered the pattern to the linen.  It's a 40 count and I like it so far.  If I like how it stitches up, I'll use it for the base of my casket.  I'm not going to use a ton of silk threads we have been sent so far for it but use DMC and Vicki Clayton silks.  I've already bought a ton and I'm actually ready to start putting needle to thread - maybe today even.  The first step is to couch a gold thread to all the large flower motifs that surround the center motif.  I think I can handle that.  :-)  It's a bigish project - 14 x 15 and I'm going to follow the instructions to the letter rather than go off by myself.  That will also take a ton of pressure off me. 

It's funny, the second I decided to work on something related but not the casket a lot of the decisions about the casket design started to flow in my head.  I'm not going to make a traditional one but a modern interpretation of a casket.  I love the designs of Jane Nicholas and another designer from the UK, Alison Cole. And I'm almost done purchasing things that I think I need for the casket work.  However, yesterday when I was done mounting the linen for the mirror on my new Needle Needs Millennium frame, I realized that this thing is a beast.  No way will it work with my Needlepoint System 4 stand.  So I need one more expensive thing - a needlework trestle table.  Needle Needs sells one that works perfect with the frame and it's 112 UK Pounds but it's out of stock right now.  So by the time I pay for shipping I figure almost $200.  Until I get it, I'll just prop the frame up on the couch somehow. 

 Since I had my new light table out, I transfered the design for a Thistle Threads kit called Lady Catherine's Slipper.  It super small and should go really quick.  I think I should be all about small wins right now.

And since I was starting new things, I signed up for the Shining Needle Drawn Thread Sampler course.  I love drawn thread and I'm thinking of adding some to my casket so it seemed like a good idea at the time.  After almost $200 though, maybe I should have passed.  :-)  The class start soon.  They ran out of materials it was so popular and had to order more!

Thanks for stopping by - I'm going to try my darnest to keep this blog current.  And stitch more!

Monday, January 27, 2014

back in the freezer

Here is my progress on my IsaV Marquior.  Each of the six sections is made up of nine blocks.  One and three quarters done of this section.  Now to decide how much I want to complete.  A good girl would do an entire section.  Not sure how good I feel this week.  ;-) I was having more fun with my etui. 
Other wool project in the finis column.  I hooked this little pillow last year and finally pillowized it.  I actually have quite a collection now of pillows completed - eight or so with several more waiting to be hooked.  I think it's time to move onto a rug but I can't afford an entire rug all at once.  I wish I could find a store that does what quilt store do with blocks of the month.  Then I could afford it. 
And speaking of blocks of the month, here is my current block of the month project up to date (as of today anyway - I expect month four tomorrow).  Seven inch blocks - 12 out of 52.  These are all civil war prints. 

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I finished up the Ellen Chester side of my etiu last night.  This side is my favorite and not because Ms. Ellen herself has been gracing my blog with her comments.  This is my favorite needlework saying of all the saying out there that I have found. 
 I don't think I ever posted a good photo of the first side I completed last month. 

So pretty!  I love that I'm making good progress on this one.
I'm going to put the etui down a bit and work on another WIP.  I think the IsaV Marquior is up next - I only have two sections (out of six) to go and I'd love that put that one if in the finis column this year.  I'll post a photo with progress soon.
I've always been a lover of Judith Leiber bags.  My sister is a HUGE fan and owns many.  She surprised me last week with this cute pug bag.  Not in the usual pug colors but cute nonetheless.  The bag is surround by some of the little Judith Leiber scent boxes she has been buying for me. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

chilly and snowy

So far this winter has been snowy and really cold!  Like the winters used to be.  Here is my progress on my Etui.  I love how this side is shaping up.  I wish I was farther but a combination of weather and opportunity has allowed me to work from home more than usual.  And I've only been stitching on the train. 
 Speaking of working from home, here are my coworkers gathered around the space heater in my office.  Seriously, it's not that cold in here!  LOL!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A couple more little finishes

I've been busy working on finishing up old projects.  I managed to get to the quilt store for the border fabric for my 36 inch wall hanging.  I love how it turned out.  It will be a while though before it hits the quilting machine - my sister did a ton of work on her house and the sewing room is still a mess.  I have to go and get it all together again before I can start working on quilts in there.
This is a little 12 inch quilt who's kit I purchased last spring or the winter before even.  Super quick - I did it in just two days.  The plan is to have a ton of these little quilts so I can change them out monthly.
This little pin cushion was a test block of a quilt that I've been working on for years.  I have to be in the mood to work on paper piecing and the wall hanging quilt has been just sitting in a box.  But I saved the first test because I knew it would make a great little something.  And it did!
This pin cushion is a kit from Just Another Button Company.  I've had the kit for a couple of years but the instructions had an error and I never got around to emailing them for the correction.  Well I finally did on Monday and finished this up last night.
And lastly and hard to see what it is, is a table runner I quilted on the quilter two Christmases ago.  I need a quick gift for my nephew and niece so I made them each a table runner.  I did a test first using metallic thread but it didn't work out that great so I redid theirs using cotton but hung onto the test.  And finally bound it.  As long as you don't look to closely you can't tell that the thread broke a million times. 

I've also been stitching on my Etui but no current progress photos and working on finishing up more blocks from blocks of the month quilts.  I really have a bunch.  :-)  And I finally looked in my quilt kits box.  Oh boy, do I have the projects to get to.  :-)

Friday, January 03, 2014

Quilting time

 Since my last update I've spent my crafting time quilting.  And I've been very productive!  Below are three little paper pieced pictures that I've completed.  It's a series of six but so far I've only acquired three.  Now I want to buy the other three.  I pick these up at quilt shows so I might resort to an online order if I can't wait that long. 
 I also finished the piecing of a small quilt for my wrought iron mini quilt holder.  I actually cut this out around 13 months ago planning on it being on display two Christmases ago.  Didn't make it again this year but will no doubt be in place this year.  I've got a ton of mini quilts to do and I'll put them on the machine quilter all at the same time some time this summer. 
Lastly I finished piecing another smallish quilt 36 x 36.  Love this one - its from the book, Civil War Legacies - Quilt Patterns for Reproduction Fabrics.  It's still missing the last 3" border though, I bought a kit from my favorite quilt store way over a year ago and it was missing from the package.  Bummer but a good excuse for a trip to the store today. 
I've also been doing a little more but no photos yet.  I'm working on a quilt of the month quilt called Hampton Bridge.  Another reproduction fabric quilt and so far I'm keeping up with it.  Well actually I just got caught up as we were just sent month three.  :-)  Before going back to work on Monday, I hope to do some work on a log cabin that I've had in the works for way over two years.  It's made up of random light and dark reproduction fabrics cut into super small logs.  Each log will finish at a half an inch!  And I hope to piece month five of another block of the month I got way behind on called Civil War Tribute.  I haven't worked on this one since April 2010. 

What are my craft plans for the year?  I want to finish things.  I've got a ton of stitching WIPs plus even more quilting WIPs.  I want to complete a ton before I invest more $$ on new stuff.  There a are several wool rugs (all pillow size still at this point) I want to finish - love rug working but I never purchased a frame I really like yet and it's still hard to settle in.  I also need to get going on my Cabinet - the second online class starts in March and I'm in this so deep in regards to money at this point I need to keep going - way over $2,000 I estimate at this point with at least $3,000 to go. 

Also have a ton of travel planned for this year.  A short cruise in Caribbean, a longer Disney cruise in April to Mexico with my sister and her kids and grand kids but the big trip of 2014 is a cruise and some land travel in May to Asia with my sister!  I'll start planning that soon so stay tuned for that.  We thinking adding on a three day Beijing land tour to the cruise.  And of course maybe Africa again in early winter - just a mission trip this year.  My nephew Larry and I plan on taking more climbers to Kili in 2015.   My attendance on that depends all on if I can raise the funds again.  I won't need as much as my trip in 2013 but I don't want to ask too much from friends and family if I want to try again in 2015. 

No major home improvement plans on tap this year - my travel plans this year will take all my extra funds so no big money available for that and I need to pay down my debt to get ready for a home equity loan I want to take out for the roof and siding I need.  I'm putting in a new hot water heater for sure and I'm hoping to purchase more hardwood for my floors (just to have on hand, no money for installing it this year) and changing out windows starting with my bedroom.  It's still cold in there despite my gutting the room and putting in insulation in the walls, getting insulation in the attic and putting in an all new heater and ducts!  Like five degrees colder than the rest of the house so at this point it can only be the bad windows.  I'm also (even though I swore I wouldn't do this) planning on cosmetic work on my kitchen.  I didn't want to spend money twice but I just can't stand it anymore and it's going to be at least a decade I'm thinking before I can do what I want to do with the kitchen.  I purchased an island several months ago and I love it.  I've already purchased a kit to paint the cabinets a cream color and plan on antiquing them darker.  I'll put in new counter tops and a back splash in slate tile.  If I can find the cash, I'll put in a new sink (I really want a hammered copper farmhouse sink and can use in the new kitchen someday so I really won't be wasting the $$) and a new oil rubbed bronze faucet as it's the only piece of metal left in  the house that doesn't match.

Thanks for stopping by!