Monday, August 29, 2016

A 2015 Stitch Camp Finish!

When we were up in the northwoods, I also worked on a cross stitch project.
Cabin in the Woods Sewing Box was Stacy Nash's 2015 Stitch Camp project 

As I tend to do, I had to make a few tweaks to make it more reminiscent
 of our annual trek to the northwoods...

The cabin became a log cabin and I added a crow and tweaked the deer.

I also added a little lake complete with fish, a waterlily and a duck/swan.
Now it reminds me of the cabin we love so much :)

It is mounted to the top of a great prim tin cash box. 

The inside and all that goes within I had completed at camp last year.

Lined with red velvet and a complement of stitching treasures.

A heart pinkeep, scissor fob and threadboard
And a perfectly matched red velvet strawberry from my sweet friend Linda Lautenschlager :)

Another heirloom treasure to remind me of both the wonderful stitch camp and 
our wonderful week each year at the cabin in the north woods...

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
~Psalm 116:5-6

Blessings, Patti

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blessed ~ Part 2

(butterfly by Winding Vine Designs)

Last summer, my younger son and I started a Monarch Butterfly sanctuary in our backyard.

(butterfly by Ginny Henson)

We started by planting Butterfly Weed, a variety of Milkweed.
Unfortunately for Monarch Butterflies, Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars eat. This is a huge problem that has caused a massive decline in the Monarch populations.
This year we were able to add Common Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed plants.

(butterfly by Norma Schneeman)

So we have been nurturing our little plants
and waiting and waiting...

(butterfly by Winding Vine Designs)

I think that we check the plants several times a day for signs of Monarch life...
When finally...

We spotted our first caterpillar!
We checked on him practically every hour. Amazed at how much he could eat.
He grew bigger and bigger and was getting close to forming his chrysalis,
when all of the sudden he disappeared.
I think this big fat caterpillar was a treat for one of our many bird friends :(
We were so disappointed.

Then just a few weeks later, my younger son gifted me with this:

A caterpillar house! One of the screen walls has Velcro on three sides for full accessibility. When we find a caterpillar, we can cut the stalk of milkweed and place it in a mason jar of water. Then our little caterpillars can eat and grow in peace. Once the chrysalis begins to open, we can open the side so the butterfly can fly free!
So now we are waiting again...
Hoping for another caterpillar before the summer season is over... 

Our older son was also very good to me! Knowing how much I love Wes Anderson's movies "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Grand Budapest Hotel", he gave me several of his older movies that I have never seen :)
And our older son has also been busy ecologically this summer - studying the nesting habits of black crowned night herons at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Although these birds are common in many areas of our country, they have become endangered in Illinois with only three nesting sites remaining. And one of them happens to be in the Lincoln Park Zoo.

We are all trying to make a difference!

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
~Psalm 116:1-2

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blessed ~ Part 1

Earlier this month, I spent my birthday sitting in an animal hospital emergency room with a very sick pup. Both pups had dentals a few days before and had 12 teeth removed between the two of them. Poor Leia ended up developing an abscess in her upper jaw behind her eye. She was admitted and they were able to help her with IV drugs. After her overnight stay and a visit with an eye specialist, She is all better now :)
After she was sufficiently well, we celebrated my birthday and I received a gift from my husband -
a Farm to Table dinner event.

We drove south two hours to Slagel Family Farm in Fairbury, IL.
Slagel Family Farm is an old fashioned small farm that provides meat to many high end Chicago restaurants. 
Of course I loved the sheep!

And the cows
Most would come up to greet us.

Pigs wallowing in the mud.

I loved how this guy was scratching his back on the bars.

We saw the chickens

And were able to collect some eggs.

These piglets were a week old.

The guy in the back resting his head on another reminded me of Peanut and Leia ;)
It may seem odd to visit the animals right before we were going to eat them,
but it felt natural like the way farming is meant to be...

Three chefs - from Big Star and Antique Taco in Chicago and Bien Trucha in the suburbs were there to cook for us. Three appetizers, three salads, three entrees and one desert all served family style in a barn built for such events.

Fresh mint and cilantro to add to our dishes.
It was such fun to meet and chat with such great chefs and to hear about their dishes.
A woman was making fresh tortillas all day long...
Of course I was so taken with the appetizers and salads that I didn't even think to take pictures!
(Oh my - that Antique Taco salad! I'm drooling just thinking about it!!)

But here is the cumin lamb barbacoa and my favorite:

birria de res - slow roasted short rib - YUM!!!
So what was the first thing I did when we returned home late that night?
Pulled out the kit for Stacy Nash's Adam & Eve on the Farm!
I'm working on it now...
A perfect stitch as a reminder of this awesome day... 
"Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble.
I wait for your salvation, Lord,
    and I follow your commands."
~Psalm 119:165-166
Blessings, Patti

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Prairie Schooler Year ~ August

I am always so happy to pull out my August Prairie Schooler finishes from over the years! 

This one was stitched way back in 1999 and I still love it!
I wish that I could still stitch "over one"...
I love how her designs pack so much in - so much to see in each and every detail!

Another tiny "over one" finish - the stork scissors give you some proportion as to how small it is. 

For this one, I pulled out my favorite motifs from a much larger piece. 

 Her designs never age.

Such a way with the shading of colors!
 So many wonderful garden themed designs - perfect for August!

I stitched this one 21 years ago! I always display it with this little birdhouse. 

I just love those sunflowers and especially the red winged blackbirds!
I don't want to rush time, but I can't wait to share my absolute favorite Prairie Schooler piece in September!

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord.
So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
~Romans 14:7-8

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Winner & Vacation Stitching

 Chippewa Flowage, Hayward, Wisconsin

Do not read this post if you are hungry!

Wow! You readers really like your pie ;) I had 81 entries and lots of favorite types of pies:
fruit filled - blueberry, lemon, blackberry, huckleberry, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, peach
meringue - chocolate, lemon
cream - chocolate, coconut, banana, 
pecan and shoofly and too many more to mention,
but the most popular were apple and pumpkin! Of course all pies taste better with ice cream!
And I loved Vicki Jo's comment: 
"Or as my Daddy used to say, he had 4 kinds of pie as his favorites: hot, cold, one crust and two crust!"

The random winner of the little giveaway is OhioLori (who likes Cherry and Peach btw)!
Congratulations OhioLori! Send your mailing address to me at and I will send your package on its way...

 In my vacation posts, I shared my stitching as it progressed.

 It was a fun project 

And I thought it was very appropriate for my location.

 Cee Rafuse of Early Style Penny Rugs based this rug on the antique above.

This is Cee's design.
I bought her kit of hand dyed vintage wool and her wonderful hand dyed string for stitching.
And here is my rendition:

I decided to omit the year and substitute two flowers. Then in each corner I added familiar creatures that live around the cabin - song birds, ducks / loons, squirrels / chipmunks and a beaver that swims up the channel by our cabin and then crosses the road each night at 9:00.

It's my favorite souvenir of our time at the cabin.

 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
~Luke 12:32-34

Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Woolkeeper & Oswego ~ The End

 While at Woolkeeper, Kathleen mentioned that there was a quilt shop just down the street.
So of course I had to take a peek ;) 
Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe was a wonderful large store filled with fabrics of all styles. 
 I was amazed by the number of models that covered walls, beds, tables, etc.

 So much to see!

So much to inspire!
Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe has a website here.
So are you wondering, after seeing all this eye candy, what came home with me?

 The first thing that jumped in my arms was this wonderful Woolkeeper kit.
I've been admiring it online for ages and I can tell you that it is even more beautiful in person.

 I was so enthralled by the model of this table runner that I had to buy the pattern.

 I also had a tough time narrowing down which Horse and Buggy Country patterns to purchase as well. These two won a ride home ;)

 Woolkeeper also carries Eleganza Perle Cotton - a highly variegated thread. Kathleen pointed out that the colors change more rapidly than others - every few stitches. I can't wait to try it out!
She also carries bobbins of the more expensive wool thread. I love this! Now I can try out a few colors and see if I like them before making the investment!
While at Prairie Stitches I found a few older Woolkeeper patterns that I couldn't live without, along with JoAnn Mullaly's Folk Branches at a price I couldn't pass up! And "Little Butterflies" by Laundry Basket Quilts was a must purchase too!
It was a lovely afternoon and I am sure that I will be heading back for a visit again!
There is still time to enter my little giveaway here. I'll be picking a winner later tonight.
"And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
Luke 12:29-31
Blessings, Patti