Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pictures for you.....and two cents


My Easter flowers....daffodils and jonquils......are up and are blooming beautifully just a week after my last two cents.  Sadly they won't be around by Easter, but they give us all the joy of the time and hope of good things to come.  I love spring....waking things up.....and fall.....putting them to bed.

How nice to live so close....to hear them yelling at each other!
One day after school, Abby and the boys arrived to chat with me and here are some shots of them....

Last Thursday I went to the shop and stitched a bit back in the framing area....It is so interesting the people I see and get to chat with......Ann, who first found us on Rt. 1, followed us to Olde Ridge Village, and now to Springwater Plaza.  I was working on the octagonal box that I have shared with you (and now have completed actually) and while stitching  I stuck my finger with the needle and blood!!!! on my stitching no less... Remembering my Girl Scout days, I took some of my "spit" and put it on the spot and in just a few seconds it was gone.  Our saliva is the best thing to remove the stain of blood and it is real handy!!

Schoolgirl Sampler by Blue Ribbon

Beth stitched this piece as I mentioned and completed it in 2010.  Before starting on an octagonal box by Blue Ribbon...Hand to Work and Hearts to God.....I did get this one she'd done completed .  It is at the shop.

On the last Friday at 9:00,
 actually 8:45 a.m.  I big bus from Perkiomen agency...spelling may not be correct, arrived for the annual visit to the shop.  Some 30 ladies load up somewhere and make the trek to our shop, the quilt shop at ORV, and on to other places around Lancaster.  As I've mentioned many times, we are located and live and a very historical area just west of Philadelphia and have much to enjoy and visit......from museums to gardens.....to quilt shops and counted cross stitch......knitting....take your pick.  
I am always blessed with the opportunity to go out, meet the bus, and greet the ladies....and driver.  They are always to kind.  I share with them how much it means to us that they have taken their time and money to come visit us......a counted cross stitch shop, and other shops around the area.  The small retail shopowner welcomes the times that others help us remember why we unlock the door each morning.  We had a great visit.....some returnees....and some new people......thanks a bunch for making our day!!!!!

Check out the border......remember my "compensation"
I have completed Token of Love that I had been working on and it is in the shop now.....this was a delightful piece that I used the overdyed checked fabric that I mentioned earlier.  I used the same fabric for the strawberries....put a couple of layers of fiberfill between front and back before I closed up the bottom.

Oh yes, after the bus left,  and I recalled the comments about how nice it was to see so many models and everything to pick from.......I thought here again we strive to make a difference to encourage others to use their hands and be creative.  Must admit, we are a bunch of "re-creators" most of the time, wanting to do it just like we see it hanging on the wall.  But do your own thing with color and fabric.....take a chance!!!!

I guess I will post this for now and perhaps add more later.  I heard on the radio by our local Dr . Bryan McDonough that chocolate was good to help you lose weight.....works on the BMI.  Oh yes, in small amounts.......but maybe chocolate with caramel is good too.   All the Easter candy....I have to put my hands in my pockets as I go through the stores.   

I'm not sure you can tell from the picture above at the top, but my Christmas tree which stands inside the barn doors right under the Moravian star, has a purple cloth tied to the handles......this is the season of Lent.  The tree lights are not on, just the star, and the spotlight shines at night.  On Sunday, the lights will come on as Palm Sunday brings the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem and such excitement.  Good Friday......I always wonder why it is "Good Friday", but the lights go out, the black cloth is tied to the handles.....and sadness is indicated.  But early on Sunday morning, EASTER, I'll stretch the white cloth......lights all on.....
"He's alive"......BELIEVE.
My knowledge that God loves me in each and every moment comes from my Christian faith and my Bible as I think of all the stories of Jesus that I learned as a child and continue to learn.  Grow me up Lord , I say.  And He says,  "Rest in Me..........and girl.....JUST PEDAL
I just had the joy of singing the Requiem with my church choir on Sunday the 18th.....what a moving service. There is so much that challenges each of us every day and as I've said before how important it is to lean on one another and share.  I recall many years ago in a moment of severe depression that I yelled at God after I saw a bird just flying over my head.....not a care in the world it seemed....and I told the Big Boss, that if He knew that bird was flying over God provided for him.as the Bible stories go.....why couldn't He fix me up.  My faith was mightily stretched for many months......but in time I think He got through to me.  Google the words JUST PEDAL... this has become my mantra lately.....I have a picture story in my head of sitting on the back seat...often still trying to run the show.....
and He so kindly looks back and says,"  Just Pedal, Ruth Ellen"

Love to you......Happy Easter (Easta as they say in Boston)........and always take the time to 

Make a Difference..

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's like the South...Carolinas


I have a few daffodils .....or as Mom always called them...."Easter flowers"  .  Each Easter morning she cut buckets of those beautiful yellow flowers and carried them to church.  At the foot of the cross in front of church the children would come get a flower and put it somewhere in the mesh that had been attached to the cross.  I have a picture of her with her red shoes on helping a little boy place his flower on the cross.  Under the picture is written.....

A Living Testament
Eleanor Ott helps a boy place a flower on the cross outside St. Andrews United Methodist Church on 20th Street in Parkersburg Sunday Morning.  Members of the St.Andrews congregation  and residents of the neighborhood filled the Easter cross with daffodils, jonquils and hyacinth in celebration of the holy day. 

I have been stitching away......finishing Token of Love and just about ready to get it together and to the shop.  It is on 32ct. lambswool and I am using the overdyed red checked fabric for the back and for the strawberries.  Work in progress......it is nice!

This is a shot of the cover .....I hope it shows.  It has two strawberries....what else...hanging from the corner  to the right  .
I not sure how to finish the edges. The picture above is with the checked  fabric folded like a binding and then I'll have to miter the corners....stuff it with something before I close it up.

I'm going to use the checked fabric for the berries.

When I complete something for the shop....I walk around and look for something else to do next.  Sometimes they "ask me" to stitch this or that....sometimes I do and sometimes not.  Well looking around I found this new Blue Ribbon chart with finishing on a Shaker box.....and the words are
Hands to work.......Hearts to God
This is the words that 4-H groups symbolize.....I remember 4-H from West Virginia.  
Do they look similar. ....
I thought I really like this so gathered the "stuff" to get started.  As I began I thought, "It seems to me that Beth stitched something from Blue Ribbon that was delightful.." ....but couldn't remember it being finished. After poking around in the drawers here and there, sure enough I found her beautiful stitching  and made up my mind that I'd do this first and then work on the other.  It is almost done.....the directions are very good, but think it might be a good thing to offer a simple "watch me do this" so you can learn some tricks to finishing.  I will bring it Friday night to Stitching at the Ford for you to have a look.

Beth does a beautiful job laying out her work....basting threads.Lower left says   BED   2010

The inside of the box.....the sea

Now some more pics of as you go.    The sides of the box are now sewn together yet....just basted.

Now maybe I'll get ready for Hands to Work....Hearts to God

 Yet another find.....and something you will love!

I have enough lights .....from over the years.....to have one in each room and yet this one above has become my very favorite.  It is called Mighty Bright.  It doesn't stand quite as high as the Dazor or ...Ott-Lite....notice that label....I was an Ott for a long time....still am...
Now the other day while at the shop.....Lisa who is "just the framer" wakes me up to yet another thing I like about it.......It can be plugged in.....or it runs on 3 D batteries.  I like that feature as I tend to move stuff around alot.  It is also reasonably priced at about $100. It has LED lights....and very pliable "neck" or post.  Sometimes I put it between my legs in front of my chair.   

Some other shots

I'm going to close while I think this is working correctly.  During my years of challenges and survivals I recalls some of the most meaningful gifts of words that others have given me...one below is special

Please give me a few friends
Who will love me as I am
And keep ever lit before me 
A light of hope
So that if I do not come within 
the castle of my dreams
I will still be happy
with the life God has given me!

And I have been given those few friends and so much hope that even tho it wasn't supposed to be like this when I got big  (The title of the book I will write one day)....I can still hope, meet the challenges, and gain strength I need from God as others share the load.....the bricks I call it.
The girls at the shop are like family....we share with each other...and many of our friends who come thru that door looking for something to keep their hands busy.....because of the challenges they are encountering......leave with hope having shared a few bricks to unload the weight of it all.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE........share the love when sometimes it is not too easy...and remember that God uses each one of us on this journey through life.....even if we don't really know Him.  
This too is written on my heart....

Jesus loves me.....this I know for the Bible tells me so.
He won't dump me, abandon me, or reject me!   He's there at my lowest and highest moments.  And when I go to bed at night...I know for sure that he is in charge and I can sleep.


Friday, March 2, 2012


Out the back deck watching the swans!!!
It is now March.....actually the 2nd, our Jimmy B's 11th birthday.  I called Abby and reminded her of what we were up to 11 years ago.  I always called my mother on my birthday to ask her what she was doing.....years ago.  This year when i turned 70, I called Dad and asked him what he'd been doing that many years ago.  "Oh, I think I was holding a little girl and trying to get her to cry!"  Born at my grandparents home, it was different.  He has told me that my head was so pointed from pulling me out.....that he wasn't sure all was going to be so good.  Never fear, Dad!  JB had a challenging birth, but good to hit baseballs a "fer piece" and whack the window of the barn.  

DAFFODILS....no yellow blooms yet

When I taught school.....in the early 60's...I had a bunch of 6 year olds, and as soon as the pussy willow began to pop...... I'd come in every year singing......

Spring is coming, spring is coming
How do you think I know?
I saw some pussywillow, 
I know it must be so. 

Sitting here at the computer I can see the birds at the feeder. If I were fast enough I'd get a picture of the cardinals, he and she, sitting on the fence rail waiting for the big red headed woodpecker to move on.  What a sight.  The swans on the lake, just the two, have kept the geese off the lake.  They are pretty to watch, the geese, and to see the babies come, but they like to eat and........in the yard.  Well, tried to get a picture....and guess what, they vamoosed.

Promise of Spring.....it's coming even tho we've hardly had winter!!!
I just finished a model called "Promise of Spring"  by Silver Creek Samplers.  Lise and I were both working on it and mine is ready to be framed.  It is stitched on 32ct. overdyed linen which you will have to find out about from Beth.....lost my plastic bag....enjoy.  Looks a little on the pink side here in the photo, but it is really a nice blue gray.

Here is where I am now having completed the border and the words
Next........Token of Love a Redwork Sampler Pillow by Pineberry Lane.  I'm stitching this on 32ct. lambswool and getting near completion.   Since I gave you that round of "compensating" in an earlier blog I will point out to you some compensating that I did on this piece.  I started in the center with the tip of the flower there, and then went up to the zigzag border and worked to the right corner, turned the work upside down (always work down and toward myself.......Danish schooling)....reached the top right corner and still upside down, worked left to right toward the center, completing each stitch along the way.  When I reached the top center point, I decided to check to make sure I wasn't "off".  With the tip of my needle, I went down along the thread of the "x" that was opposite the other side.......and whoa....I was off by one stitch.!!!!!!!  Now what should I do.
A bit of correction....Corner not to top line

Error at upper right ..6 not 5 stitches

 Interestingly, I decided to go to the bottom part of the border, working upside down and to the right  (or the lower left corner when straight up), and then still with my work upside down, working that left side to the corner.  Then I went back to the top center and completed the top border to the left corner and decided .....hey if it is for me .....a model....I think I'll leave it.  I don't like to pick out 32ct . linen .

Now seeing it like this,  I think I will take out the stitches in the upper left, make 6 instead of 5, add the second dot in the corner and then I won't have to rip all of those stitches out.  So when you see it finished and in the pillow, you can have your opinion.  I think Marianne, my Danish teacher , who pushed us to "compensate" would be pleased.

The catalog from years back

This is the left side of the finished design from the catalog
This is the right side of the finished design

Well I'm not getting the layout so nicely here, but will continue on.  This is a kit by Ida Winckler which I have been working on for years.  I will try to show you bits and pieces of it.....and I am getting to the end.  In cleaning stuff out, found some things that I believe Abby stitched after her trip there in 1984 with Beth and me. We had much exposure to DHG as we traveled there and also I was involved with Danish American Days for many years down at Pawleys Island, SC

Not sure what I've done....but can't seem to get the pic up at present.  I will go ahead and publish all of this and perhaps edit some things later...9:00 pm  I finally got my shot up.
Another one of Ida Winckler's designs

Abby's stitching above

The Danish Handcraft Guild and School in Copenhagen, Denmark, has so impacted my stitching and knowledge of counted cross stitch.  Thanks to Ginnie and Ken Thompson, my life will never be the same.  I treasure every week of classes there , traveling and visiting the Danes and really getting to know another culture.....not so different from us at all.  As mentioned my first Counted Cross Stitch was purchased in Dordrecht, in the Netherlands in 1971, but it was actually a Danish kit.....Eva Rosenstand...and is my treasured first piece, a bellpull hanging in the front hall.  This kit used 6 strand floss where the Danish Handcraft Guild  (DHG) kits used flower thread.....a single length of thread that equaled two of floss.  While "cleaning out" stuff recently, I found my DHG kits, few books, some things finished and some not and decided to take some shots of them and share.  Sadly, it is very difficult to get these any longer as the powers that be in Denmark have changed.....things are different.  The pictures I will share with you, are by the designer Ida Winckler.  She was a little old lady with a delightful smile, spoke no English or little , but had her own manner of design.  At the same time we met Gerda Bengsston, another wonderful designer of flowers and much more. I hope to share some of these with you.  Little was published in books or single charts, much to our dismay, so kits were the majority of purchases everytime I went to Copenhagen.  I was there many times.........and I have a wonderful collection of designs. Here are some.

I have been stitching.....and getting ready for an outpatient round of surgery this past Monday.  Several years ago....like 5 just before getting my knees replaced... I felt my child-bearing insides let loose and pull everything else down with it.  Having had a hysterectomy many years ago, I was stunned to learn that I had a "prolapse " of the pelvic area. which allowed it to turn inside out like an old sock.  I had a wonderful surgeon who explained that this was not an uncommon thing to happen, often genetic, but resulting from large babies and the hysterectomy.  That was in 2006.  My knees got replaced by October and the following year, I headed for surgery to put that "old sock" back in place......tacking it to my tail bone and creating a  bit of discomfort, but nothing like the bulge in the bottom.  Now you might ask, "Why in the world is she telling me/us/women and men  this?"  My doctor was adamant that I take the scenario to others as it is often "swept under the rug" as "Oh, I'm just falling apart and getting old!"  Not just older women have this.....others ages as well.  We have heard of tacking up the bladder....called bladder prolapse, but I'd never heard of Pelvic Prolapse.  When it occurs it grabs the works.......vaginal wall and along with it the bladder and the bowel.  AND IT CAN BE REPAIRED!!!! thank goodness.  So perhaps because I don't always act my age and lift and move stuff that I shouldn't, my bowel came unglued (untacked) and proceeded with gravity to give me some additional challenges.  Miralax, Senekot, Colace....and fiber became my routing friends.  Since Monday........If I can just remember that I can't run around like I was 25 fixing and doing this and that.....I feel great.  So don't hesitate and say "I'll just put up with the discomfort"......have it checked out and fixed.  My Doctor Babak Vakili in Wilmington is my good friend.....thanks to him you're getting this message.

Will close for now......eat some lunch and return after while......

Make a difference ......give others something to share
Our hands love to keep busy creating...right!

              Ruth Ellen