About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Exchange Ornament

Hello all, I wanted to share a pic of a little biscornu ornament I made for Meari, for the SNS2 yahoo group. She took this picture and let me use it here. I enjoyed making this for her. The pattern is from this year's JCS ornament issue, but you won't recognize it, I think. I changed everything about the design. I like mine better!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Giveaway at To Stitch or Not to Stitch!

Hello all, I know its been a long time since I last posted. I have been busy stitching and doing Holiday related activities so not much time to blog. Also, still no camera! Might Santa bring me one this year? I certainly hope so! I thought to post about a lovely giveaway that Barbara is having at her blog. I really enjoy her blog and visit quite often. Check it out and join the fun! Here is the link: Barbara's Wonderful Giveaway!.  Good luck and Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stitching Update - Announcement of Winners

Hello friends, I've another update with pics and announcement of the winners. Sorry for the late announcement, but have been under the weather and only worked a half day...and just plain forgot.

The winners are  Xeihua and Mab3500. I will be sending each winner one of the patterns and a few other treats.Congratulations and thank you all for participating. I've got up to the 50 mark for followers, so thank you for that as well. Winners, please contact me with your mailing addresses.

Below are a few pics of what I have been working on:

Above is Halloween Quaker...coming along nicely!

I sewed Give Thanks onto pre-made heart pillow with a hanging's that for finishing! Just fab! Especially since the pillow only cost me one dollar!

And this is my progress so far on the By the Bay fall SAL. Tres cute. I love the Dr. Seuss like trees.

Well, that's it folks! Keep on stitching!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Busy stitching!

Hello all, hope all are doing well and are enjoying what you are working on. Wanted to post a few pics and inform you of an SAL offered by By the Bay Needlearts. I purchased the floss today but have two options of fabric. See below for pics. This is my first every SAL so amlooking forward to it.

The top pic is of the floss for the SAL on Forget Me Not Blue Aida.

The top pic is of the same floss on Confederate Gray linen...which is the one I am going with...I think!

The one on the right is my latest finish. I had started this one last year and have just finished it. I substituted with HDF, which turned out to be too dark and muted.

The one on the left is Jardin Prive, "Halloween d'Quaker." I added the orange and purple for some color. I should finish this one this week.

Anyway, that's it for me!

Happy stitching, everyone!

Hugs Christina

Friday, September 28, 2012

Correction to my give-away

Hello friends...I must correct the rules for participating in the give-away. You don't have to post to a blog if you don't want to or haven't got one. Leave a comment and you will included in the drawing and tell about it on your blog or web site and get another chance to win. I want everyone to have a chance, not just those with a blog. Sorry and good luck!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Announcing a Give Away by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Hello all, this shop is having a lovely give away of hand dyed cotton floss...they are gorgeous jewel tones that will be perfect for holiday stitching. Here is the link and good luck! Give Away by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stitchy last!

Hello friends,

I have finally decided to use a phone to take a few pics of the summer's finishes and a few other things. I have never finished these many projects in a few months and must admit that the other stitchers on my Yahoo groups keep me going. Well, without further ado, I give you my projects!

 The above is Permin's Moonlit Boats. I started this a few years ago but didn't really work on it in earnest till a few months ago...and voila. Love it.
 The above is Rabbit in the Berry Patch....I may have up-loaded this one before, I forget now. This was an easy stitch and I just enjoyed it so very much. It's by Cedar Hill Designs. I used Charles Craft Sea Mist in 14 ct Aida. The chart called for R&R Reproductions See Fog.

 You've seen this one before, tried for a better pic with little improvement. Its As the Crow Flies by The Prairie Schooler. This one was weird cause sometimes I liked the simple lines and blocks of colors and other times I thought "Oi vey...when will I finish this all ready?!!"

 The above is Quaker Halloween by Jardin Prive. I have substituted everything. Am using WDW in Grits and Onyx, DMC 208 for purple and 4124 added for a spot of color. Time will tell, but I think the orange is too bright. This one is moving right along after a bit of initial frogging.
 The above is a freebie from DMC - don't think it's still available in their Club. You can't tell but this is on a lovely muted yellow, called Pumpkin by R&R Reproductions. Color is similar to the inside of a pale pumpkin.

Well, that's it. Oh, wait. My blog is one year old all ready and I want to do a give-away just in time for Christmas or Winter stitching. I am giving away Wee Candy Cane by Heart in Hand and Pine Tree Inn by Little House Needleworks. Links to pics here: Wee Candy Cane and Pine Tree Inn. I will throw in some trim, fabric and other little surprises.

Be a follower and leave a comment for one entry into the drawing. Post about the giveaway in your blog or other site and get another entry (and let me know the site for verification).

The drawing shall be held on October 10th.

I shall post the name of the winner on this blog on October 10th, so please come back to see if you have won (or make sure I have your email so I can notify you).

Am I missing anything?

Now I can say "that's it"!

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate all comments.


Chris G

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hamster's Passing - Is there a hamster heaven?

Dear Friends, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of a dear individual - our friend, Chubby Dubby.  Chubby Dubby succumbed to what appeared to be some sort of tumor, despite medical intervention.

Chubby Dubby was laid to rest in a very dignified manner yesterday evening (location undisclosed due to the privacy wishes of the family).

The services were well attended by close friends and loved ones. She is survived by her mother, sister, adoptive uncle, aunt and various other siblings, and cousins throughout the world. She will be fondly remembered for constantly running on the exercise wheel at night and keeping everyone awake, her penchant for carrots and her all around good-natured personality.  Although most in attendance could not understand Hamsterish, the faces of those hamsters present spoke clearly enough...her surviving sister's eulogy appeared to be a loving testament to Chubby Dubby's effervescent joie de vie...many a tear were noted. She will be greatly missed as the world has lost an icon of hamsterrificness and is a bit colder today, as a result.

Chubby Dubby's family requests that those that would like to express their condolences do so by contributing generously to one of her favourite charities (via Pay Pal): Hamsters R Peeple 2 at

Thank you and kiss your pets, everyday!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School - Drat!

Hello's been almost a month since my last update. I have been busy stitching and reading, so I suppose that is a good thing. This blog post has no pictures and is just me rambling about two things, school and my hamsters, so here goes.....

Today was the first day of school here in Florida. I shall never get used to the idea of school starting midway thru Summer. It just seems Wrong.

Most years I try to maintain a positive outlook and hope for things like my girls making nice friends, and that they learn a few things and make wonderful memories. This year, I hope that their teachers aren't incompetent or that the teachers aren't verbally abusive (a big problem at my kids' school) and that I won't have to write any complaint letters. I am hoping that the food served in school doesn't make the kids sick, and that there is soap in the bathrooms for hand washing, and that for two months after the FCAT, the teachers don't stop teaching and continue to get paid for doing nothing until June. I also hope my kids learn something academic, but I know that I must teach that at home. Funny...used to be the kids learned their academics in school and the morals and social mores at home but things are reversed now.

There is so very much I have teach at home. I am rather overwhelmed with it, frankly. I know this is not new to American schools, but it's new to me. And yes, I worry that my girls will not be prepared for college. Perhaps it's just me. Maybe my standards are too high and the schools are doing it exactly right....but I don't think so.

My kids' school seems to focus exclusively on reading and language arts, and then math, but the kids are doing really poorly in both areas despite the focus and despite the complete disregard of other subjects. Something's wrong.  Used to be you learned to read by actually reading...reading about history, science, reading plays and writing poetry, analyzing song lyrics and you know, writing book reports and making presentations. Not no more (smile). Now you learn to read by going on the computer and reading sort passages and spitting out the answers two seconds later. This doesn't actually test what you may have learned long term and it doesn't help you fall in love or hate with characters or imagine your life elsewhere or...oh, what's the use.

To all those with kids in school, I wish you good luck, and may this year be filled with competent and caring teachers, a warm circle of friends and lot's of meaningful learning opportunities...oh, and hope your kids actually learn something useful!

Well, folks, my hamsters are about one year old at this time and two of the three are doing fantastic. One of the babies appears to have a some sort of mass just under its neck, on its chest.  She is feeling unwell and is off her feeding and activity. Am going to contact the vet and see what can be done.

I have not been stitching very much, due to school preparations and lot's of reading of bad urban romance novels. I did not pick up any stitching last week at all, but am hoping to pick up where I left off tonight, once everyone is abed!

Well, August is almost at an end...soon will come the September holidays (my office closes for all of the High Holy Days...yay and thank you Lord!) and then the fall ones...always a treat. I am hoping to start on some Halloween stitching and  finish something I started last year for Thanksgiving...I need more Time!!!!

That's it folks and thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

Hugs , Chris G

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stitching, exchanges and mountain adventures!

Hello Stitchy Friends, hope all are getting to fit in a little bit of stitching this summer. It's been over a month since my last blog update...several things have interfered with my ability to update, namely, I broke my wonderful camera and have not been able to obtain another until recently. It's a cheapie one and takes terrible pics, why make such an abomination? We also went on vacation in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Tennessee. I wish I had some great pics of that, but just don't.  I do have a story though...after the pics of my recent finish and a few other things.


I made this box with help from Meari's lesson. She is co-host of a Yahoo group called I-Love- Cross- Stitch. She offers classes on finishing and does a great job. She has a pretty neat blog too where she shares not only her stitching but cooking and DIY magic! Here is a link to her blog: Meari's Blog

This is one of those turkeys I have had laying around for about 2 years. I just finished it up in this lovely pillow...I really love it! I think the bow is too long and might change it.

This is a pic of the ornament that was made for me during an exchange for ILCS Yahoo group. There's a magnet on the back for hanging. Ethel also sent two skeins of WDW thread and a pack of needles (one can never have too many needles!). Thanks so much, Ethel.

Here are a few pics of my latest finish of As the Crow Flies by the Prairie Schooler. These pics were taken with the bad camera but you can get an idea of it. I enjoyed stitching it because it was easy to get into a groove and not make too many color changes. I made a few color substitutions and added blended needle effects and a few themes...I find that I can't help but make designs my own. I framed it myself, too, which is what I normally do cause framing here in Miami runs over 100 dollars.
Here is Moonlit Boats from Permin...I've got quite a bit more stitched up now but can't get a good pic. I am hoping to finish this over the next month or so.

This is part of a bit of stash enhancement I did whilst on vacation. I have graphed a few changes...I am substituting some of the trees with mountain flowers, such as cone flowers and daisies. The color will make this pop a bit more, as I think that is what is lacking. Am not sure when I might start this, because of a scary experience we had in the Smoky Mountains.

Vacationing in Tennessee has become sort of a tradition with us. Living in Miami, we enjoy the undulating landscapes and cool temps of the mountains. We usually plan our visit very carefully, coming into Tennessee via North Carolina and stopping there for white water rafting. Well this time, we hadn't realized that the rivers are controlled by dams and the day we had planned to go rafting was a day that the dams were not opened. We decided to take a mountain stroll, instead. Me and my two girls, ages 9 and 11 started up on a pleasant 1.7 mile hiking trail with NO SUPPLIES whatsoever. I thought the trail would take about 2.5 hours so what was the big deal, right? Well....we didn't started up the trail til 6 pm and you guessed it, the trail was difficult and it felt like it went straight up. We climbed and climbed, noticing the sun was starting to could it be possible that we had been climbing for 2.5 hours??? The temps got cooler, we got thirsty and tired and scared. Oh, did I mention that some of the shelters had been closed due to "aggressive bear behavior" as per posted warnings?? That didn't stop us from taking our stroll, though, no Siree, not us!! My youngest daughter, who happens to be smarter than the four us put together, by the way, starts saying we should turn back NOW. I say, no way, lets go to the end...well, we got to the end only to have to go back, right? But the sun was setting, my ankles were failing me and I was having chest pains.

I cannot express the fear we all felt on that mountain side as twilight started settling in. Going down was easier, but we cried, prayed and made a lot noise, all in the hopes of keeping any curious bears away and getting down before all light was gone. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Frankly, I was an emotional mess.My girls were brave, being kids and not imagining the horrors like I was. I remember them calling to me and saying "No Ma, get up, you can't rest...we've got to keep going...stop crying Ma, snap out of it MA!!!"

We used the lights from the cell phones to make our way down...keeping our hands on the side of the mountain so has not to step off of the trail and roll down the side. As darkness settled, I thought surely someone would come for us? My husband, being the energy conservationist that he is, declined to join us on this hike and surely he would have called for help. Turns out there is no phone service in the mountains and he did finally hail someone on the road to call the rangers. He also came up a few yards on the hike with a flashlight and a bull horn, we met on the trail- almost at the end, but a welcome sight nevertheless.

What hugging and crying started then. Of course, I asked him what had taken so long and he said there was no way of getting help. There were also a few other idiots lost on the mountain ahead of us, including a father with his 14 year old daughter...scary thought! Once down, we got some oat bars and water and were soon met by a ranger that wanted to know if we had seen anyone else up there. Unfortunately, we had not. I hope those other folks made it down quick. We waited with the wife for another hour, but no sight of the lost folks. We then left...but it was hard. We went up that mountain at 6 pm full of vim and vigor and came down at 10 pm totally whipped. We felt very strong and even excited as we came off the mountain...I can only assume it was the adrenalin, because my legs started to tremble after about 45 minutes and I got nauseated.

Moral of the story is be prepared for a hike no matter how "little" or easy the hike. Take outer clothing, water, proper clothing and shoes, a hat, compass, etc and don't start a hike in the evening. DUH!!

I am glad we didn't need rescuing but felt like I had failed my girls in this little adventure. After all, I am the adult and they trust me to keep them out of danger and I failed. I know, nothing happened and it was an easy hike, but still, it was a very scary experience.

My girls were pretty tough and determined...I used to call them my bunny rabbits but I now call them my tigresses cause that's what they were!

All's well that ends well!

Oh, my husband was a doll and didn't berate me for the adventure or yell or anything. He was so good to me about darling!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mostly Sewing

Dear Stitchy Friends,

I thought to share two of my sewing projects with you. I learned about making ORT keepers from another blog. Here is the link: Instructions for Ort Bag Basically, its a triangular shaped container made of out fabric. I cut two pieces of fabric 9.5" on all three sides, sewed the two sides right sides together, turned it inside out, closed the opening, and then sewed the sides together only half way so that I could turn the points down, and tacked with a button. I made  a bunch (about 5) and have given them all away. Here is a pic of the one that I kept for myself.

Here is a pic of a little pillow that I made...I've got another two turkey designs waiting to be turned into pillows. This was a new way of finishing a pillow for me. I liked how it turned out but I thought it was too long.

OK, please be forewarned, this next pic is of a dead hamster...just kidding!!! Its a pic of a very happy, content and peaceful hamster. Aahhhh...the good life. Who knew a hamster could have it so good, huh?

On the family side, the girls' last day of school was today and they are feeling a bit blue about being away from their friends. Now comes the pressure of finding them something to do all summer and keeping their brains from turning into mush. When I was a kid, we spent the summer running around the neighborhood, being fed by neighbors and running errands for them. Back then, the city (Brooklyn) didn't hassle folks for opening up the johnny pumps and we kids would spend hours running and splashing in the streets! The ice cream would come at the same time every day and we were always assured a treat by a generous neighbor willing to pay for all of the kids' ice creams. The cute Italian guys in their muscle shirts would wash and wax their TransAms and we girls would just swoon as we would watch them. At night, the parents would pull out lawn chairs onto the street or sit on the stoop and tell stories. Sometimes, the Puerto Rican boys would bring out their congo drums and the rhythms of drums and timbale would fill the hot, steamy night air. The little ones would fall asleep on a lap to  the soothing clicking of dominoes. The 70's in Brooklyn were hard times, we never went on vacation, but they were good times, too. Filled with friends, real neighbors and the assurance that we weren't alone and could always find a helping hand.

Anyway, hope your summer is filled with not just the old memories, but also the magic times that will make for new memories and stories to tell.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barbara's Give away

If you haven't guessed yet, I've been visiting the blogs today. Here is a lovely give away by Barbara...she is very talented and finishes up her projects in such a lovely way (half the battle, if you ask me!).

Please check out her blog and join the fun!

Chris G

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe: Today's lucky winners and a new gift certificate give-away

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe: Today's lucky winners and a new gift certificate give-away

And the winner is.......

Meari! Yay!!! I put the names of interested followers into a hat, and my kid pulled out Meari's name. I am very happy it was her because she always leaves a comment and has been following me for a long time.

Congratulations Meari and thank you for playing!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My First Give-away

Hello to all my stitchy friends out there,

I am sponsoring my first stash give-away just in time to celebrate Independence day for the good ole US of A. I am keeping it simple, nothing to do but be a follower and leave a comment that you would like to be entered into the drawing. Leave a contact address or check this blog for an announcement of the winner on May 30th.

Here is what the give-away includes:
  •  LizzieKate Snippet, "Land That I Love" chart. The finished stitched area is 3" by 5.25"
  • 9" x 12" piece of 25 count Dublin Linen in Driftwood.  
  •  and three little star shaped charms. I used these to substitute for the heart charm  called for in the chart with very good results.
I won't be including the threads as I substituted with what I had on hand and you may wish to do the same.

Here is pic:

Thank you for following me and leaving comments along the way. Good luck to all (does that even make sense?)


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stash for Sale and other tales

Greetings to all, Hope everyone has had a good week so far. Thank you to the followers that keep track of my little blog and special thanks to those of that leave comments.

For starters, I've added a Stash for For Sale Page (you should see the tab above on the title). It's a few things that I have had laying about that I thought someone else would like to have. Its mostly kits and leaflets. I invite you to browse.

On the stitching front, I have been working like a fiend to finish "As the Crow Flies". As is typical of me, I am bored with it already and just want done with it. I am plotting along and it won't be too many days until it is all stitched up. Here is a pic of it to date.

This next pic is one I started just about the same time I started As the Crow Flies and its called Berry Patch Rabbit by Cedar Hill. It calls for R&R Sea Fog but I've put it on Charles  Craft Light Sea Foam 14 ct Aida. It's turning out rather interesting, don't you agree? (Interesting is the adjective I use when I don't want to say STRANGE.) It is a rather handsome rabbit, however. Wish I could get better pics but can't with the camera that I have. Soon, I shall get myself one that can zoom all the way in.

We've got cows in my town that stay on undeveloped land to protect the agricultural designation of the property. I thought to share a few pics of them. We like to feed them apples and carrots but they prefer the carrots. They have different personalities and preferences and are just so lovable. The reason why we Miami Lakers are so enamored of our cows is that this is one of the last places in the entire county where one can find cows.We had lots of cows all over the town on agricultural land but as developers purchased these for building homes, the number of cows has decreased. Miami Lakes is on property that was owned by the Graham Family and they used to be dairy farmers, so its part of the town history, as well. One of the roads is called Graham  Diary Road. The Graham family still owns bits of land, I believe. We urbanites are just tickled pink by these cows.

I took the cow pics in the hopes of charting one but then I thought, gee, there must be at least a gazillion charts of cows out there...I am sure I can tweak one to better match the background of my town.

OK, now on to my hamsters, which I haven't discussed in a long time. Well, they are just as much fun as a barrel of monkeys...NOT. Sure, they are cute and all, but what a racket they make on those gosh-darned wheels in the middle of the night. Of the three I have, one has become an escape artist and has managed to be able to open the top of their tower...yes, she pushes it around with her snout until it's lose and then she pushes up and off it comes and out she goes...aahhh, freedom at last, sweet freedom. Of course, I find her again right quick cause of the racket and pop, back in she goes. Today, I found her and the other one breaking out. Seems she taught her sister how to escape. I finally used tape to keep the top on - a weight won't work as the top is dome-shaped and a weight falls.  They are also fighting, well, the one sister and the mommy are. Vicious horrible fights wherein they must be separated, so...yep, you guessed it, I have purchased yet more habitats and trails for them to live in and be able to escape each other if need be.

Here is a pic of one of the, isn't she cute all sleepy, sleepy and peaceful. This one actually burps and passes a lot of gas so it doesn't get held too often, poor little mite.

Well, that's it for now! I have to go to bed but really really would rather stitch until the sun came up!

Comments are welcomed and enjoyed! Hugs to all. xoxoxoxo Chris G

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Pet Peeve

My last pet peeve was about disembodied greetings one encounters when walking into some shops. Today's pet peeve is about insurance commercials that try to convince you that they care about you. REALLY...are we so stupid as to believe the drivel put out by these commercials?..."You're in good hands" claims one. Another tells you that their wonderful little umbrella will keep you nice and dry when the rains and flooding come.  Others claim to give you peace of mind...try getting your claim paid by any of these folks, its just arbitrary what they will pay and what they won't. I have a friend who has been paying home insurance for 50 years. She put in one claim on her roof and they refused to pay her the claim cause the roof was older than 10 years...since when is that a criteria? A little old lady like that (she's 92) had to pay for a new roof. She thinks that the insurance was hoping she would die before they paid out the claim but she wouldn't die so then they just refused to pay it.

Sell the product, quote the savings but PUHLEASE don't make it sound like you actually care about me or my loved ones, just stop it already.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Recent travels and Stash Enhancements

Hello and happy greetings to all. It's been a few weeks since my last update and this one is going to be a long one.

To start off, I visited Lewisburg, Pennsylvania last week. I stayed  at a lovely bed and breakfast called The Pineapple Inn. The proprietors, Deborah and Charles were very charming and helpful. It was a real treat to stay at this establishment as I have never stayed at a B&B before. I recommend it but only if you won't miss modern day amenities, such as a phone and TV in your room. Below are pics of the town, the inn and my rooms. I think that the intention of this B&B was to give the guest an experience of Victorian design and living. Growing up in Brooklyn, most of the homes were decorated like this so it was bit strange. This style of furnishing reminds me of poverty, not wealth. It's all about perspective, isn't it?

The building is the Pineapple Inn which is right on Market Street. Very convenient for shopping and restaurants. I stayed in two different rooms because the one was booked for part of my stay. Very clean and comfortable beds. The parlour was comfortable and afforded a lovely view of the street from the bay window. Breakfast was served in the dining room (pic below).
 Pics of the hallway and stairs:

 Pics of a few of the very many churches in town:

Here is a pic of a very interesting house:

OK, here is what most of you probably care of my stash enhancement done at the Village Stitchery in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The owner, Lisa was great (chatty and helpful) and I purchased the following:

I bought this because it reminded me of the houses that I saw in Lewisburg.

Not a good pic. I liked this rabbit's's surrounded by berries and leaves. Easy!!

The above is from DMC, a freebie...there used to be so many freebies on-line and I have a very large library of freebies which means I don't have to purchase for years and years. Of course, I still do purchase, but don't HAVE to!!

The following are pics of a biscornu that one of my exchange partners sent me. Its a lovely blue hand-dyed fabric with blue thread. See those cute buttons? Just precious. Thanks, Bev, for a wonderful biscornu.

She also sent the pattern and piece of fabric and thread.

Well, that's it folks. Its been a busy few weeks what with traveling and the holidays. Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend.

Hugs, Christina