Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all!!  We wish each of you a Blessed Holiday Season!!

Love,
The G family 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Bustle

Hello dear blog readers,

Today is going to be a bit of a random post.  I thought it the best way to write one this morning since I'm feeling pressed for time but yet I still wanted to post today.  So here it goes!

My Dad made it here safe and sound last night!  He left home a week ago and took his time driving all the way down.  He stopped to visit with family in Michigan and then was going to visit my Uncle in Atlanta, but he was recently sick in the hospital with a bug and was just released but wasn't allowed visitors, so he hopes to see him on his return travels.  He also did some touring and just enjoyed his days, which is wonderful since he hardly ever gets a chance to relax and do things like this.  We were beginning to wonder if he would make it for Christmas, but he surprised us by showing up last evening.  Emmie was beyond excited to see him, it was the cutest thing.  My sister and her husband are flying down tomorrow, so she is going to be even more excited.  She likes to have all her "people" together in one house where she can take care of us all.  She has a big heart and loves each one of us, but her particular favourite is her Uncle J, she just adores him.  I'm excited to see her reaction when he gets here tomorrow.

Today's plan is to finish up some last-minute crafting and to wrap the gifts and get them under the tree. I'm still not feeling particularly Christmasy yet but I hope by listening to some Christmas music and getting things together that I will start to feel like it's really almost here.  I'd also like to bake some sugar cookies, but those may have to wait until tomorrow, we'll see how I am with time today.

Anyways, I should get to it!!  I hope that all is well with you in your part of the world today and that you're enjoying getting ready for this special and magical Holiday Season!!

xoxoxoxox, R

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Photos from My Day


 1. In my heart (and on my floor)


 2. On my nightstand


3. Finished onesie


4. Something I sewed for a friend...shh, it's a secret!


5. An embroidered Christmas tree ornament

Have a great day!
xxoxox, R

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Crafting


Today's project: a little baby onesie with a cute sheep embroidered on it for a special "welcome new baby gift."  I've been working on a couple other things these last few days that I think I can share next week :)
I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!!

xoxo, R

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Heartfelt Thanks

Hello,

I want to start off by saying a big thank you to everyone for all the sweet comments and kind words about the passing of my Grandma.  Each one touched my heart, you all are so wonderful!  My Mom was able to fly back for the funeral, but I had to stay here with little Emmie, which was an adventure since I'm not really used to staying home alone at home, let alone over 2,600 km away from my family.  It's good character building though!  And it really wasn't bad at all, still not my favourite thing, but I'm getting better at it.  I tend to have a lot of one-sided conversations with the dog, but my sister was great and FaceTime chatted with me every day which helped a lot.  I never really realized it until now but I'm actually quite glad to live in this era because technology has brought those who are far away much closer to us and makes the distance seem a lot shorter than it really is.  I always thought I was born in the wrong decade, but now I'm not so sure.  Anyways, Mom flew back last night, and I'm sure I've almost talked her ear right off already.

December has snuck right up on me.  It doesn't seem like Christmas is just around the corner, but yet it is.  I've got a lot of my Christmas shopping done already, but there are still a few more things I need to pick up and a couple of projects I'd like to make.  I put a small pink tree up in my bedroom the other day to help get me in the spirit.


We put up our bigger tree in the living room this afternoon, but it still needs a tree skirt and angel topper so I don't have a picture to share just yet.  I think as we do more preparing for the holidays it will start feeling like Christmas, it's just so strange not being at home and not having any snow.

Anyways, I really do want to thank you all again.  It's so wonderful to have such caring and supportive friends.  You all bring such a smile to my face everyday with your comments and emails.  I feel very, very blessed!

Extra big XOXOX's to you all,
R

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Grandma

Hello blog readers,

I'm writing today's post with a heavy heart.  Tuesday night we got word that my dear Grandma Sirkka passed away.  I've mentioned her quite a few times here on the blog, she was my knitting Grandma who has always been my hero in both crafting and life in general.  
She was born in Finland in 1923, the oldest of 5 children and grew up on a farm where she learned how to make most of the things she would ever need or want by hand.  She survived both the Winter War and WWII, which for any of you who are familiar with history would know was pretty horrific in Finland, and worked in a factory right out of high school while the men were at war.  She married a handsome Finn who looked like Ricky Riccardo in 1946, and in 1951 she left her entire family and immigrated to Canada as a young wife and mother with her husband and young son while pregnant with my Aunt.  She had to learn new languages and customs in this country, Polish being her first language because that was the community they first moved to in Quebec.  One of the ways she would learn the words was by looking at the pictures on the cans at the grocery store.  They moved to our island when my Mom was 10 months old, and settled down permanently in one of the little towns. 
Grandma would sew and knit for her family as well as cook and bake delicious meals.  She was an amazingly creative woman who could look at a picture in a magazine and either sew or knit the object without any patterns or instructions, and they came out looking exactly like, or even prettier than the picture.  Her knitting was legendary.  To this day, people still remember my Mom for all the beautiful sweaters she would wear that Grandma knit for her. 
She never wasted anything.  After the clothing she had sewn had worn out, she would take the fabric and turn them into pillow covers or patchwork quilts.  I remember her telling me how when she was a young girl she knit herself a one piece bathing suit and when she grew too tall for it, she cut it apart around the middle, stitched it up on the ends and turned it into a bikini!  She has inspired all of us by her creativity and resourcefulness and to this day we each apply things we learned from her in our everyday lives. 
She was the dictionary definition of sisu: which is determination, perseverance, and courage among many other things.  Here's a partial explanation of what sisu means taken from a Finnish survey done in March and May 2013:
 Among the main findings was the perception of sisu as a reserve of power, which enables extraordinary action to overcome mentally or physically challenging situations (rather than being the ability to pursue long-term goals and be persistent). To elaborate on the function of sisu: it is a powerful psychological potential which enables the individual to tap into mental strength beyond their pre-conceived resources. Wielding sisu in the face of adversity helps individuals push through what first seemed like the boundaries of their mental or physical capacities. Furthermore, sisu is an action mindset which equips the individual to choose to take on challenges beyond their observed capacities. It provides the final empowering push when we would otherwise hesitate to act.  Sisu can be conceptualized as taking action against the odds.
She was so brave and courageous.  Impossible was not a word in her vocabulary.  To her, you could do or make anything if you put your mind and will to work.  She didn't back down from challenges, but rather met them head on and persevered.  She was strong, determined, brave, funny, giving, tender-hearted, steadfast in her faith, and talented beyond belief.  She will always be remembered as one amazing lady and I hope that one day I will become even half the woman she was.
She is going to be greatly missed by us all, but she will live on through our memories, the knitting that we do, her projects that we still have today, and through the people we have all become from her influence on our lives. 

xoxox, R

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I am Thankful for this precious little girl.  She is one of the biggest joys in my life.
xoxox, R

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Beginning of Holiday Planning

Hello blog readers,

Today is a bit cloudy, but the sun is still shining through.  That's one thing I find great about this tropical weather, it's not usually cloudy or grey for long periods of time.  I heard that at home they've had some rather wild weather - snow, wind, rain, etc.  I'm very glad we are here and not there right now.

Our time with my sister visiting has been going great!  We've had fun catching up, swimming in the pool, watching Christmas movies, etc.  Girl time is always a good thing.  And now S and her husband are going to be coming down for Christmas!  We are beyond excited about that.  I've always wanted to spend Christmas in a tropical place so this is like a dream come true for me.  Mom and I are going to have fun planning the menus, we've already been chatting about it over tea this morning. 

I need to get working on my Christmas gift list soon, although I'm cutting way back this year, we all are, which is a good thing.  It makes Christmas much less stressful.  And this year I'd like Christmas to be a happy and stress-free holiday, as it should be, with emphasis on the real Reason for the season and not all the do, do, do that usually takes over.  We are thinking simple and laid back.  It will be a nice break from what it has been the last few years. 

Have any of you started your holiday planning yet?  I think I'm a little late this year, but it's better late then never, right?

xoxoxo, R

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What Seems Like Forever

Hello dear blog readers!!

I have been meaning to post so many times over the last couple of weeks.  I had this great plan to write every day to document a trip I was taking, and I dreamed of how interesting and fun it would be to share the whole thing right here on the blog.  Well...life happened and I never did get to do that, so here I am. 

My Mom and I, and sweet little Emmie the Yorkie, decided to come to Florida for the winter this year to relax and to help with my health.  We had originally rented a condo, but due to some very loud construction at that place, we are now moved in to a lovely home.  Since our move was a last minute change of plans, we had to do some accommodating to make everything work.  This house is only available till the end of December, and then we have to move again to another house that is on an island just a few minutes away for the rest of our stay.  That house is directly on the beach, and as those of you who know me would know, I am beyond thrilled about that!!  This house has a pool, and that house has the ocean, so it's the best of both worlds.  At first the whole thing seemed like one big mistake, but now I see that God worked it all out so that it would be the very best for us. 

We are just taking it easy, and doing lots of relaxing and recovering, which is exactly what the doctor ordered.  I kind of feel like I'm on hiatus from my real life, and it's rather fun.  I've always wanted to escape my life at home for a while and experience something new and different, so I am very blessed to be able to actually do that right now.  Trust me, I know I am a very, very lucky girl.  God and my parents have been so good to me and I am truly very grateful.

Today my sister is flying down to spend a week with us, which will be wonderful.  Even though we haven't been gone quite three weeks yet, we have been missing home a bit.  I especially miss my dear Mr. Bingley, but we have a sweet house-sitter and her mother who are taking good care of him and Mittens and giving them lots of extra love and attention.  Her mother wrote us the other day to say that Bing was enjoying some cuddle time with her, and that he had helped himself to the treat bag while she was out!  I'm glad to know he is still up to his old tricks and that he is settling in well with them both. 

Well, I should go and get myself ready to head to the airport soon.  I will try to get back into a regular posting schedule in the near future.  I will have to start doing some more interesting things other than reading so that I will have something to write about!

xoxox, R

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...Things that make the weekend even better:

  • A good book
  • A craft project
  • A Jane Austen movie
  • New magazines to browse through
  • Lovely weather

FOUR...Of my Favourite Authors:

  • Jane Austen (big surprise there, eh?!)
  • Lori Wick
  • Janette Oke
  • L.M. Montgomery

THREE...Foods I don't like:

  • Butterscotch chips (or really, anything butterscotch to be honest)
  • Meatballs in pasta sauce
  • Fennel 

TWO...Songs that get me going in the morning:

  • I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
  • Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley 

ONE...Thing that is a theme in my life:

  • Umbrellas
xoxoxo, R

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekend Quote

Image from: Imagebase
"Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream." ~ John Lennon

xoxoxox, R

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...of my favourite Disney movies:
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan
  • Cinderella
  • The Aristocats
  • The Jungle Book
  • Robin Hood
FOUR...songs on my playlist:
  • Yesterday ~ The Beatles
  • Oh My Stars ~ Andrew Belle
  • Old Time Rock & Roll ~ Bob Seger
  • At Last ~ Etta James
THREE...Apps I use the most:
  • YouVersion Bible
  • Padgram
  • Dreams&Goals
TWO...Bible verses I've been thinking about recently:
  • "May Your unfailing love be my comfort."  Psalms 119:76
  • "Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing and now it shall spring forth."  Isaiah 43:19
ONE...Thought for the week:

"God is with you.  Not only is He with you, but He cares about every detail of your life.  He cares about the big matters, He cares about the small matters, and He's telling you: 'Fear not, there is nothing to fear.'" ~ Terri Savelle Foy

Monday, October 21, 2013

This Week

Hi Readers,

This week is going to be a bit quiet around here on the blog, except for a couple scheduled posts, because I'm leaving my laptop with my sister for the week to get some work done on it.  I wish you all wonderful days and I will be back soon.

xoxox, R

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Quote

Image from: Wikimedia
"'The words 'far, far away' had always a strange charm." ~ Alfred Tennyson

xoxxox, R

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday



I am thankful for this little cutie who likes to help me with the laundry from time to time.

xoxo, R

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Direction

Hello dear readers,

I hope this week is going well for you all.  Things here are a bit on the busy side, but it's a good kind of busy.  I'll be sharing more about what's going on in some future posts, but for today I thought I'd chat about some thoughts I've been having about the blog.

As you know, I haven't been doing much knitting over the past while, but I still want to keep up with my blogging.  I've missed writing and sharing what I'm up to with you!  I thought I couldn't write about most things recently since they weren't knitting related and this blog is called Fairytale Knits, however, the more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that even though this started out as a knitting blog, it really has always been about me and my life.  There just happened to be a time in my life where there was a lot of knitting going on.  As I looked back over my archives I noticed that there were posts when I wrote about things other than knitting, so I decided that what I'm going to do now is blog more about my everyday life and throw in knitting and knitting-related things along the way.  How does that sound?  The blog will become a bit more about my life and not just what I'm currently knitting, although I've started to slowly knit some things (HUGE yay for this!!) and I will share their progress as I go along, as well any knitting/fiber -related things I find along the way!

I'm also debating whether or not to keep up with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Thankful Thursdays and Weekend Quote posts, and whether or not to add in any other "themed" weekly/monthly posts.  I'd be happy to know what you as my readers would be interested in hearing me blog about and any suggestions you have, so just leave me a comment below.

I wish you all a wonderful week and thanks for sticking with me though all this transition.  You are all a joy in my life!!
xoxox, R

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...Things I am thankful for:
  • My Saviour Jesus
  • My Family, pets and friends.
  • My health
  • The ocean
  • This blog and all who read it :)
FOUR...Scents I enjoy this time of year:
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • apple spice
  • pumpkin
THREE...Bible verses that I've been meditating on lately:
  • "Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice."  Isaiah 41:10
  • "You, O LORD, are my refuge!  You have made the Most High your home.  No harm will come to you.  No sickness will come near your house.  He will put His angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways."  Psalms 91:9-11
  • "He restores my soul."  Psalms 23:3
TWO...Favourite things to do in the Fall:
  • Go for a drive when the leaves are at their peak colour.
  • Sit outside on a warm day with a good book and cup of tea.
ONE...Thought for the day:
  • "Trusting God is realized when you act in faith, knowing what He has said is true.  Trust is not a passive word; it's an active word.  Make up your mind that you are going to believe God is for you, and put that faith into action.  Using God's Word, change your mindset, change your words, and go forward in victory!" ~ Joyce Meyer
xoxxo, R 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weekend Quote

Photo from Imagebase
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."  ~ Anne Shirley  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for the beautiful fall leaves.
xoxox, R

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Autumn Stitching Progress


Over the weekend I started to get caught up on my Autumn Stitching Club embroidery.  This is what I've got done so far, and I'm halfway done a bucket of leaves.  They are the cutest little patterns!  I'm excited to stitch up the others.

It's been beautiful here the last couple of days and it's starting to feel like fall.  The air has that smell to it and the leaves are turning all pretty colours.  I think it's time to get out the fall decorations!

xoxoxo, R    

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Sorry it's been a while since my last post, I'm working on getting back on track :)

FIVE...Books I recently read and enjoyed:

Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince
A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano
Georgia on Her Mind by Rachel Hauck
The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck
Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

FOUR...Things on my to-do list this week:

1. Mail some packages
2. Change bedding to Fall/Winter blankets
3. Clean...I've been slacking the last week or so
4. Plan baking for Thanksgiving this weekend

THREE...Songs I'm listening to today:

Kiss the Girl - from the Little Mermaid
The Florida Sun - The Almost
Respect - Aretha Franklin

Wow, that's quite the eclectic mix now isn't it?

TWO...Articles I found helpful this week:

What is your ideal day by Lemon and Raspberry (It's always good to dream about what our ideal day would be like so we can begin to start taking steps to making it a reality.)
How to Write Courageously by Marta Writes (I want to be a more courageous writer.)

ONE...Probably the only gingerbread house I would ever make that might turn out cute:

Sweet Gingerbread Scene 

My sister and Mom would totally get this!  Let's just say that I can make wedding cakes but a gingerbread house...

xoxox, R

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE…Weird things that make me cry:
o Classical music, it’s so beautiful I can feel it in my soul.
o Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection
o Being Overwhelmed
o Commercials about Fathers with their little girls
o Seeing something truly beautiful, whether it be nature, architecture, art, etc.

FOUR…Things I need to focus on:
o God’s love
o My dreams
o Being positive
o Keeping my mind in the present moment and not in the future or the past

THREE…Of my favourite old movies:
o Hit the Deck
o High Society
o Guys and Dolls

TWO…Great articles I read last week:

Finally. by Annie Downs (This is for all us single ladies) 

ONE…Yummy looking recipe for Fall:


xoxox, R

Monday, September 16, 2013

List #11. Things My Family Taught Me

I’m doing the 30 Days of Lists Challenge this month and I thought I'd share one of my favourite lists from last week today.

#11. Things My Family Taught Me
o To respect my elders
o How to bake – My Mom taught me and has always been my biggest supporter
o About Jesus
o To do it afraid
o To have integrity
o To be kind to everyone
o To reach out to those who are hurting and those who are less fortunate than I am
o To try and see things from the other person’s point of view – this one my Dad taught me
o To love and not hate
o To listen more than I speak, and to never think or act like I know more about a subject in a conversation with anyone even if I do – another one from my Dad.  He told me that you can always learn something from a conversation, even if you are more knowledgeable about the subject than the other person, as long as you keep quiet and just listen.  It really is true and does work!
o To put my best effort into everything I do

My family has taught me way more things than just these, but these were the ones that I listed.  I am so grateful that God chose to put me into this family, they are so wonderful and are my biggest encouragers and supporters.  I truly am Blessed.

Happy Monday!
xoxox, R 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sparrows


My sweet friend Penny sent me this adorable embroidery kit the other day in the mail.  It's a beautiful sparrow and she said it was to remind me of how God cares about the sparrows and about me too.  I can't even begin to explain how this is exactly what I needed to hear right now.  I stitched it up and it is now placed where I can see it every day to remind me of this important truth.  Thank you so much Penny, you are such a Blessing to me.

"Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny?  Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's permission...Don't be afraid!  You are worth more than many sparrows."  ~ Matthew 10:29, 31 GWT

xoxo, R

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

I know I said I was only going to do the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 posts for the summer, but I've been thinking about continuing them into the fall, at least for a little while.  I've been doing some planning lately and there are some changes coming up on the blog soon :)

FIVE...Interesting facts about me:

1. I am left-handed
2. I am a certified cosmetician
3. I am slightly afraid of squirrels
4. I have always wanted to go to Africa
5. I danced ballet for 8 years

FOUR...Colour combinations I'm liking right now:

Navy and light grey
Pink and Lime
Gold and turquoise
Tangerine orange and fuschia

THREE...Favourite Fall Things:

Cinnamon and fall baking spices
Pumpkins
Apples

TWO...Adorable embroidery patterns for Christmas...yes, it's getting to be that time- time to start crafting for the holidays:

Nutcracker Sweets - Christmas Ballet

Advent Tinies

ONE...Thing I did yesterday:

Mom and I made chokecherry jelly using berries right from our own yard.  That was the first time we've made it here at this house.  Sunday afternoon we were having tea out on the lawn and seen the berries were ready, so we thought we'd make up a batch.  It turned out lovely so hopefully we can make another batch once the other berries are ripe.

xoxox, R

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Sorry this is a day late!

FIVE...Adorable Free Embroidery Patterns:

Fall Embroidery Designs - Wild Olive
February Vintage Pattern Stitch-Along - Feeling Stitchy
The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me - Wild Olive (This song always makes me cry!)
Cute Bird - Craft Pudding
Lovely Butterfly - The Split Stitch

FOUR...Yummy recipes I'd like to try:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert
Pear Bar Cookies
Microwave Oatmeal Bars
Apple Pear Coffee Cake

THREE...Songs on my playlist right now:

Every Good Thing - The Afters
The Way You Smile - Newsong featuring Francesca Battistelli
Runaway Car - Matt Kearney

TWO...Books I read over the last few days that I thoroughly enjoyed:

Love Finds You in Maiden, North Carolina by Tamela Hancock Murray

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

ONE...Amazing article I read today:

Don't You Know Who I Am? by Kasey Bess

xoxoxo, R

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Congratulations to the Winner!

Hello,

Well, today is the day!  The winner of the blogiversary giveaway is: Jules (Tanknit)!!  Congratulations Jules!!  I hope you will enjoy the project bag and stitch markers!!  

Thank you to all who entered, this was a lot of fun, and I hope to do it again soon.  I wish each one of you a wonderful weekend.

xoxo, R

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...songs on my playlist right now:

I Should Have Known Better - The Beatles
The Florida Sun ~ The Almost
My Guy ~ Mary Wells
These Boots Are Made for Walking - Nancy Sinatra
Hello, My Name Is - Matthew West

FOUR...Books on Time Management and Organizing I read and enjoyed recently:


Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free - by Amy Lynn Andrews
Organizing from the Heart: Change Your Mindset, Conquer Your Challenges - by Stephanie Baker, Beth Beutler, Karina, Whisnant   (I'm actually still reading this one)
What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend - by Laura Vanderkam
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - by Laura Vanderkam

These were all really good and I'd recommend each one if you're interested in getting yourself on a schedule or organized.  My absolute favourite though was Tell Your Time, it walks you right through how to find out what your life goals are and then how to schedule your time so that you actually end up accomplishing them.  It was so helpful and exactly what I need right now.  Organizing from the Heart is also extremely helpful in giving step-by-step directions on how to both organize your home and your life.  I'm not all the way through it yet, but so far, it is really great.  And both of the What the Most Successful People Do books were awesome and so inspiring!  I want to read her other book 186 Hours now. 

THREE: Quotes:

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." ~ Jane Goodall

"I find television very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." ~ Groucho Marx

"You're trying to carry everything in your life by yourself.  And you are falling under the weight of it but that was never God's intention.  He doesn't want you to carry it yourself.  You can't do it, only God can do that.  And that's what He says, He says: 'I never meant for you to go through this by yourself.  I wanna go through it with you.  I wanna carry it for you.'" ~ Lacy Mosley

TWO: People I've been watching on YouTube lately:

Terri Savelle Foy - Love her!!

Miss Jen Fabulous - She has the best beauty tutorials I've seen.

ONE...Cute little dog on my knee:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Blogiversary Giveaway


Hello,

Well, it's finally time for my blogiversary giveaway!!  I know I'm a couple months late, but I thought it was better late than never.  I will be giving away a sheepy project bag and some beaded stitch markers, both handmade by me, to the lucky winner.  To enter all you have to do is leave a comment with your email or Ravelry id on this post.  The giveaway will be open for one week, and I will announce the winner on Saturday August 24, 2013.    


Here's a close-up of the stitch markers, they will fit up to a US 6 knitting needle.  They're made from the tutorial I did awhile back, so even if you don't win you can still make some of your own.  They are easy and fun and are great way to use up those cute beads they have in all the shops.  Plus, I always like to personalize my knitting, and these are a fun way to do it.  

Good luck to all who enter and thank you again for being such awesome blog readers.  I am truly Blessed!

xoxo, R

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This week's 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 is all about my travel favourites and places I want to see:

FIVE...Places I want to go to one day: Russia, Africa, Switzerland, France, and Germany. (Not to mention Australia, Japan, Austria, The Netherlands, China, Greenland, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Singapore, Bora Bora, Fiji...I could go on and on!)  

FOUR...Reasons I like to travel: It gives me a whole new perspective on life, learning the history, seeing a place I've only read about or seen in a book, and meeting so many different people.

THREE...Cities/Towns I fell in love with:
Narvik, Norway
Edinborough, Scotland
Dublin, Ireland

TWO...Of my most favourite places: Tivoli in Copenhagen, and York Minster in York.

ONE....My favourite moment when travelling: When I realize I'm "actually" there.  Nothing can beat that feeling.  (and I also have to add, the moment when you cross over the line from night to day while flying and the sun starts to come up.)

xoxoxo, R

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Key Lime Pie Mug Rug

Hello,

I made this key lime pie mug rug the other day for my sister because key lime is her favourite flavour and I thought it was just so cute. The pattern is from Wild Olive's Sweet Treats Collection, which I don't see listed in her shop right now, but I'm sure it will be up again soon. This collection also has a ton of other adorable dessert embroidery patterns that I want to stitch up. As many of you know I have a thing for cute food related items, so I see many more of these mug rugs in my future!

Xoxoxo, R

P.S. Sorry for the not so great iPad photo!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Afternoon = A Pincushion


Today's Accomplishment: A new pin cushion.  I've been in desperate need of one of these for quite some time and this afternoon I found a cute pattern in the book Quilting In No Time by Emma Hardy.  It took me around an hour to make and was a great way to use up some fabric odds and ends I had laying around.  I think it's on the fast track to becoming my new sewing/embroidery best friend.  Especially so when it comes to embroidering, I cannot tell you how many times I have lost my needle in the last few months while I'm changing colours or getting a new piece of thread.  I'm hoping this little buddy will help me spend less time looking for my needle and more time stitching.

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

xxoxox, R

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...Of my favourite quotes I came across this week:

"God will change your circumstances, but He'll change you first." ~ Terri Savelle Foy

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cry.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache." ~ Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing." Leo Buscaglia

"My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me." Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down "happy".  They told me that I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." ~ John Lennon

FOUR...Books I want to read soon:

Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Memories by Terri Savelle Foy

Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin 

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend by Laura Vanderkam

THREE...Patterns I want to stitch up:

OINK by Wild Olive

Cute Days of the Week Bunting by The Split Stitch

Bloom Flower by Shiny Happy World

TWO...Things I want to make this week:

Another mug rug and a pin cushion.

ONE...Adorable sewing pattern I'm thinking of purchasing to make some baby shower gifts from:

Ruffle Onsie from Tookies by Trish

xoxox, R

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Stitching Club Progress


Hello,

I can't remember if I mentioned before or not that I joined Wild Olive's Summer Stitching Club back in June, but I thought today I would share my progress so far.  I'm a bit behind in attaching my hexagons together, but I'm hoping to get caught up this afternoon.
  

These are the embroideries for the month of June.  I think my favourite is the bikini.


And here are the ones for July (except for the radio, that one is from the first week in August).  July's theme was summer foods.  My favourite from that month is the coconut drink, the little umbrella just puts it over the top on the cuteness scale.

If this interests you, you can still join in and stitch along - all the information is here.  I've heard talk that there is a Fall Stitching Club in the works right now and I'm so excited!  The summer club has been so much fun to work on, I've found myself hardly able to wait until Monday to get the next pattern.  I like how my memories of summer are wrapped up in these little stitchings, and I think a fall one would be a great way to keep myself excited about a season that in the past has been very difficult for me.

I hope all my Canadian friends have a wonderful holiday today, and that everyone else has a great Monday!  I'm off to attach some of these hexagons together.

xoxoxox, R

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Vintage" Tea Towels


Hello,

At the beginning of the week I stitched up these tea towels for my cousin L's bridal shower gift.  The invitation said to bring a recipe for the bride-to-be, so I thought what could be more perfect than tea towels with recipes embroidered on them.  I found these designs from Pattern Bee, which is an online shop specializing in vintage embroidery patterns.  I purchased the PDF downloads since I wanted them right away, but you can also choose to get them in iron-on transfers which I thought was neat.  There are two more designs in this collection - Strawberry Jam and Chicken a la King that I haven't stitched up yet.  I need to get some more tea towels first.  I also purchased this bluebird collection.  I couldn't help myself since they are just so adorable!  There are tons of sweet patterns available, I know I will be shopping here again for sure.  I've had a fascination with vintage linens and designs since I was a little girl so finding this website was like finding a gold mine to me.  I can hardly wait to stitch up some more!

xoxoxxo, R

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...


Geese on the beach this morning.

FOUR...

Songs I'm enjoying this week: Matt Kearney - New York to California and All I have.  Michael Bolton - Georgia On My Mind and M.C. Hammer - U Can't Touch This.

THREE...

Outings this week I'm hoping to attend: Afternoon tea at the Tea House, Lunch at the Pancake House and the Quilt Show.

TWO...



Dish cloths I crocheted over the weekend to go with a wedding shower gift!

ONE...


Tea towel I'm embroidering.

xoxoxxo, R

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cupcake Mug Rug


Hello,

I made this cute little mug rug last week from this pattern I came across on the Wild Olive blog.  It's a great way to showcase your cute little embroideries and use up any leftover fabric scraps you have hanging around.  I used pre-made bias tape for mine, but next time I think I will try one without it.  I've never been a fan of sewing on binding.  

xoxo, R

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

FIVE...


Little Owls I embroidered.  The pattern is from the Wild Olive etsy shop.

FOUR...

Peacemaker
Denis Sullivan
Sorlandet
Pride of Baltimore II
Tall ships that went by our house last week.  These were such fun for me to see since I've long been obsessed with all things that have to do with ships, pirates, and British fleets.

THREE...


Embroideries that are soon to become mug rugs.

TWO...


Nail polish colours I bought yesterday - Minnie Style and Shorts Story.

ONE...


Song I'm enjoying right now - All Those Pretty Lights by Andrew Belle.

xoxo, R

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stitch Marker Tutorial


Supplies:
A package of head pins (found in the jewelry section of most craft stores)
Some beads - I picked this strand because it had a bunch of different sizes.
Round nose pliers
Skinny nose pliers (I'm not sure what they are called, but they're the ones with the red handle in the above picture.)
Wire cutters


Start by putting some beads onto a head pin.  I like to put a smaller bead on the bottom then a bigger bead and finally another smaller bead on top, but you can put however many you'd like and in whichever order you think looks good.


Using the round nosed pliers, grab ahold of the headpin directly above the top bead.
Using either your fingers (which is what I do) or the skinny pliers, bend the head pin over halfway so that it's at a 90 degree angle.

Reposition the pliers by letting go and re-clamping the headpin right above the bend you just made with one of the round parts of the pliers facing up towards the ceiling.
*Note:Now this is where you can adjust the size of your finished stitch marker's loop so it can fit the size of needle you want.  By moving the whole thing up higher on the pliers where the round parts are bigger, you can make a bigger loop.  When I made this one, it would probably fit a US 3 needle, but when I brought it up higher, it would fit probably a US 5.  These pliers are a little dantier, so they make smaller stitch markers, but I do have another pair that is bigger and with it I can make them to fit up to a size US 7.  You could also bend it around a knitting needle if you want to make it bigger than your pliers will allow, but it's a bit tricker.  I recommend trying it with the pliers first so you can see how it all works.
 

This is what it should look like from the side.


Now again, using either your fingers or the skinny pliers, bend the head pin straight back upwards towards the ceiling.


Then keep bending it over until it's parallel with the floor as shown above.  There will now be a sort of half loop above the top bead.


Reposition your pliers again by letting go and re-clamping in the same spot, but now with the top of the half-loop in between the pliers.
Now twist the end of head pin downwards and back up towards the back creating a closed off loop.  The the wire will now be on the opposite side from where it was.  The picture below shows what it will look like when you let go of the stitch marker.


See how it's closed off the loop?


Re-clamp your pliers with the loop now in the middle of the pliers, just like shown above.


This is where the skinny pliers really start to come in handy!  Using them, start slowly twisting the end of the head pin around the "neck" space just above the top bead.


This part takes practice and can be a little fiddly, but stick with it!  If you find your end is going to be too long, just clip some of the excess off with the wire cutters.


See, mine was a bit long, so I snipped some of it off.  Now it's much more manageable to work with, and it will fit nicely into the "neck" space.


When you get almost to the end, continuing with the skinny pliers work carefully to sort of gently squeeze the last little end up close so there isn't a picky end sticking out.


And ta-da!!  You now have an adorable stitch marker all ready for your next project.  Enjoy!!

xoxo, R

P.S. If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them as soon as I can.

P.P.S. Thanks Kepanie for asking me to make this tutorial!!