Thursday, October 17, 2013

Now where did I leave off??

Well once again my poor blog has been neglected for awhile.  Life has just been a whirlwind the last few months - I've had a family reunion out of state, work travel and a vacation to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday, been sick with a bout of bronchitis and generally just trying to make it through the days.   I've got more work travel coming up in November so there's not much rest in sight for awhile.

I'm trying to get a few blogs read each day - apologies that I've not been able to visit and comment as much as I'd like to.   I find that all the seemingly unending bad news is stressing's bad enough with the government shut-down, health care insurance concerns, and constant calamities we have to read about....but there have been 2 sudden deaths of people I knew at work in recent weeks, and we found out a friend of ours had passed away in August and we didn't even know he had been ill.   These things have all been on a mind a lot lately especially when I look at all the work stress my husband and I go through.  I'm trying to just focus on the important things in life and letting of some of the other worries go.    I know that many of you are struggling with your own personal concerns and I'm noticing again a lot of my favorite bloggers have been missing for awhile.  Siobhan over at Notes from Blue Hen Hollow, Katrina from The Needle's Promise, Amy's blog from Down Sunshine Lane, Margie over at Three Cool Pugs & Me, Teri at Chocolates for Breakfast, and so many others I miss reading.  I did finally remove about 15 blogs from my reading list that haven't been updated in over a year.  It's always sad when someone "falls off the grid".  I hope you all are alright and still stitching  and that you just have been too busy to post.  We miss you!  Did everyone go to Instagram or Facebook and not tell me?  I still like reading stitching blogs even with all the other social media available.   I think we're all just struggling with not enough time to keep up with everything.

There hasn't been a lot of time for stitching but I'm trying to get a few moments in as I can. I took some projects with me on my work trip but we worked so many hours that it was late at night before I'd have 15 minutes to relax and then I'd be too tired to stitch most of the time.  I did start on LHN's Needleworker and enjoying it.  I've always wanted to complete a grouping of stitching-related pieces for my sewing room someday so this will fit right in.  Here's my progress so far - I'm stitching it on 36-ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Basketweave - this linen has a hint of rusty red in some areas and goes well with the floss colors.  I  didn't want my piece quite as big as the chart called for so I switched to using 36-ct instead of 32-ct linen. Pardon the wrinkles.......

I'm still working away on Winter Silhouette from my last post and also started one of my With Thy Needle & Thread projects - the valentine box sampler which has been on my list for a long time to do.  I found the colors called for a bit too muted for me so switched them out for brighter flosses.  My camera broke and I'm using an old one I have but I'm having trouble working with it...time to look at getting a new camera I guess. I've always struggled with taking decent digital photos...someday when I have time I'd love to take a class so I can improve but this is all I've got for now!

I spent 2 weeks in South Bend, Indiana for work recently.  Although I spent 15 years of my life in Chicago and its suburbs, I'd never really been to "Michiana" as they call the northern Indiana/southern Michigan area.   I was working a lot but I had a weekend in-between the two weeks on my own and I drove up to a little town on Lake Michigan to stay.  I enjoyed visiting the lakefront, seeing awesome vacation homes along the shore and wading in Lake Michigan.  We were forced out of our hotel in South Bend anyway because the whole town and surrounding area hotels were booked up with rabid Notre Dame football fans for a home game that weekend.  I did get to go wander around the campus one day and was glad to get the opportunity.  It's a beautiful university that's for sure.

My feet in Lake Michigan...

Notre Dame campus......

I visited neighboring town Mishawaka, home of the famous Spinster Stitcher.   I passed a PetsMart store there and couldn't help wondering if that might be where Stewey gets his dog biscuits!     The best part of my trip was I got to visit 2 great stores and buy lots of stash!   I've ordered from website before but never knew it was based in South Bend.  I was searching on my phone for quilt shops I might be able to visit while I was there and up popped Ericas - what a great place it is!  It's mostly quilting supplies but they do have a small cross-stitch section and knitting, embroidery and other crafting supplies.   I got some great patterns for some bags, packets of gorgeous wools and some trinkets.  Then I visited House of Stitches LNS in LaPorte, Indiana which was only about 20 minutes away.  Oh what heaven!!  I've heard of this shop for years and years and finally got to visit it.  I think the ladies working there probably were wondering if I would ever leave because I spent about an hour and a half there ogling everything and pulling patterns and linens and asking about this and that. 

A few snaps of the shop.........

There happened to be 3 other ladies visiting the shop from out of town and all of us were having a great time shopping.  It's a fantastic shop and I spent a bundle of money as you can see.    Even though I have a LNS where I live, it's so much fun to visit another shop and see different stitching models and products.  House of Stitches has a wonderful selection of linen - the most I've ever seen, and it's just an amazing place.  I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance to go.  Here's my new stash spread out on the table.........

I stopped in a little antique store down the street from House of Stitches...I'm always on the lookout for vintage sewing notions as I want to do a shadowbox display someday for my sewing room.  Well I found some old button cards for a dollar each and look closely at the top item - these are some sort of devices to hold your bra straps in place I think but look at the brand name - "La Jeanne" - couldn't be more perfect for me!

You know, at first I felt kind of guilty about buying all this stash. I have more stash than I'll ever get stitched in this lifetime and I certainly don't "need" anything....but that's okay!  I'm going to enjoy just having it even if I never stitch it.  I've worked full-time in a stressful profession for over 35 years and my stitching and quilting hobbies are my only real vices (well...not counting Diet Coke and nice soaps from Crabtree & Evelyn....)   I have no kids to send to college and if nothing else, some day someone will get some bargains on eBay or at the local thrift shops when I'm gone or too old to see to stitch!    In the meantime I'm going to enjoy my greed and revel in my stash.  I'm doing my bit to keep this industry going!

Coming soon.....

I've been working on sewing some project bags and hopefully in the upcoming weeks I'll have them up for sale on my blog. I like making bags and things and what I like about these new ones I've done is they have a clear vinyl front so you can easily see what's in them.   If they don't sell I guess then I'll have some gifts to give away to friends this Christmas!


  1. Jeanne -- Great post! Love seeing what you've been up to. As always your stitching looks great. You certainly got some great stash! House of Stitches is about an hour and a half from me and I try to get there a couple times a year. Linda certainly has a great selection of fabric and charts. Glad you found some to add to your stash! Always a good thing:))

    Take care.

  2. What a great post. I enjoyed reading it. I'm a slow blogger also. I feel guilty because I haven't posted in awhile and am woefully behind on blog reading...

    I agree, I love my stitching blogs. The shop House of Stitches sounds wonderful. I love to search out new shops to visit also. Just ask my hubby... :)

    You purchased a great selection of stash! I too, have more than I will ever finish, but feel the need to buy new... what a sickness. ha!

  3. What an exciting trip and I love you WIP Valentine box.

  4. That trip looks so fun! All your stash and your projects are wonderful and that sampler a few posts down---WOW, amazing!

  5. Your stitching is lovely! Love seeing the pics from your business trip too. Glad you got to do some fun stuff while out there. Sorry you're feeling stressed about life and work and all the bad news out there. Sorry about the deaths around you as well. It seems to be hard times for so many right now. I miss those bloggers as well. Yes, some of them (in fact most I think) are on instagram now. Are you? I am too. :D

  6. My business trips never take me to any good stitching stores! It looks like you were in a beautiful area too. I going through a stressed out period at my job and your words seemed to soothe that a bit.

    There are quite a few stitchers on Instagram. I'm not blogging as much but not super active on Instagram.

  7. What a newsy, full of great stuff, post! What a surprise to see my name in your post, too. I have plans to get back to blogging soon - next week, I hope. Like you, my life has been hectic and stressful the past few months. But... It's getting better so I'm hoping to get back. I am on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. They seem to be easier for quick, updates without worrying too much how pretty the pictures are or how much narrative to include. Come find me!
    I love all your new stash. Hey! If we can't reward ourselves for working so long, what have we worked so hard for? Good for you. I would love to visit that store. I'd be in there for a long time, I'm sure and like you, I'd probably drop a lot of cash on stash!
    I'm so sorry for all the losses you've had recently and I hope work gets better soon, too. Peace!

  8. Wow! That shop looks great! I love the Halloween type patterns on the wall you took a photo of, they are really cool.

  9. well it sure seems like you had a fab time and wow love your stash and I am sure one or two of us ermmm me would be interested in your stash .. hahah seriously you enjoy each and every piece you deserve them :)
    but next time could you squeeze a wee mouse into your bag
    looking forward to seeing your bags too ... take care :) love mouse xxxxx

  10. Sounds like you had a relaxing time, even if it was for work.
    You visited some great shops too.
    Great stash you picked up, you deserve it!

  11. great stash. I think we all struggle with a balance in life. I have said goodbye to some groups in order to concentrate on others.

  12. What a great post. Love the Notre Dame pictures. Lake Michigan is pretty close to me up here in Wisconsin. I don't do other social media, just blogging.

  13. What a fun post! I've been to that shop and yes, it's a fun place to go. You seriously can not go in there for a quick stop. It's best to spend time in there and soak it all in. Glad to get to visit with you today!

  14. Your stitching looks lovely.

    I am in complete agreement regarding stash. I have enough for 10 lifetimes but I still get more. There is always so much great stuff out there. I love to spread it all around me and just look at it all. (I do stitch too!)

    My family will have a fit when they have to clean out my sewing room.

    Have fun with it.

  15. How nice for you to get in some fun stash shopping while on a working trip.
    I am working on LHN's Needleworker too. Did you notice that the first two e's are different that the last two? I need to decide if I am going to put an extra stitch in the first two or just leave them be.

  16. Firstly, it's nice to hear from you Jeanne. I'm sorry you had been sick and dealing with a lot of worries. I too have noticed a number of people in our blogging world stop updating their blogs. I have seen Teri around but haven't heard from the others. Life seems to be getting very busy for all of us. I'm in that boat but I like to try and post at least 2-3 a month. Love your stitching and photos! That shop looks like a dream to me since I've never been in a LNS! British Columbia lacks any sort of stitching store. Great haul you got there Jeanne and you can never have enough stash!! Hugs!

  17. Lovely to see a post from you & sorry to hear your bad news. It sounds like you took a good opportunity to unwind during your trip. I would love to visit House of Stitches , you got some great stash.
    Your current projects are looking lovely. I know that most of the bloggers you mention are active on Instagram.

  18. I know what you mean about missing people who aren't posting so often any more. I have slipped in my posting too but I just never seem to have anything exciting going on. I was happy to hear you incorporated some shopping therapy and some sightseeing in your work trips. That always makes time away from home pass more easily. I know what you mean about too much stash and stuff and no one to pass it on to. I'm in the same boat but I refuse to worry about what is to come but only to focus on the joy it gives me when I go on a plunder fest looking for a stashed kit or chart. Guess people who don't understand would call it hoarding. Glad there are friends in my world who understand. Take care and enjoy with all your heart - Mel

  19. House Of Stitches is not too far from my hometown so everytime I go back to my hometown for a visit I always stop at House Of Stitches. I am so glad that you really liked that place. The ladies are super wonderful....

    Glad that you had a very wonderful trip and I too have been to Erica's as well in Mishawaka.

    Great Stash that you got there...

  20. What a great post! Yes, I too prefer to read stitching blogs over other media. There is just something more personal about it. Love all your new stash. I agree with you. There is no need to stress about it. Take care!

  21. Good to catch up on your news, Jeanne--your trip to Chicago and Notre Dame sounds like fun. We'll be attending a wedding at the Notre Dame chapel next October and I'm really looking forward to it :)

    Yes, it is sad when bloggers stop updating--I miss them, too. Many people are moving to Instagram and Facebook, but since I don't do either, I'll be sticking with my little blog.

    Lovely stitching and stash acquistions!!

  22. Here's my reasoning. My stash has items from years ago that I may no longer want to stitch as much as new items, therefore, I can't count those as stash, which means it's not as big a pile as I thought! Life is too short - spend and enjoy.

  23. Great post! My posting and stitching has slowed due to busy times with my three boys! Hopefully, things will slow down for a few weeks as their fall travel season for baseball is coming to an end. I have posted pics on Instagram under Bramblewood ~ but won't give up my blog ~ hope to update soon!!

  24. Fantastic photos Jeanne! Looks like you had a great time on your trip!

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