~ Greetings and Warm Welcome ~
to the 25 Days of Christmas with
The Twisted Stitcher
We are getting closer and closer to the big day...just 7 days out now!
Today I'd like to share with you a couple of models that Diane asked me to stitch and finish for her December releases.
First up is...
"The Tree Lot"
which is a part of the on-going series Hometown Holidays
Diane told me when I finished it that it reminded her of Indiana. It does remind me of Indiana too, but the tree lots around here don't typically have nice little homes by them...its usually a big rusty camper
The second piece I stitched and finished for Diane is called
it is part of the on-going series of patterns that uses a little "bling" ~ the All Dolled Up series.
finished very simply as a hanging pillow with hounds tooth wool...and three JABCO snowflake buttons. Run, RUN to get these :)
Looking at these finishes...
and looking at my tree, around my home on my walls and in bowls filled with wee pillows you can see that Diane has made a large impact on my life ~ although she might not know how much of one she's made...
It all started waaaayyy back in 2007, with these finishes I did for an exchange:
This is Little House Needleworks
(which was a freebie, but is now available in a compilation pack that you can find on the bottom of this PAGE)
At that time I was a novice to the internet and all its workings because I had been having and raising babies. I had started the blog in 2006, and had done small things...but I didn't know about Bulletin Boards or Yahoo Groups or anything like that.
from my blog posting of this finished set, I guess some people got wind of it and liked it and soon I guess it was on the Yahoo board and lo and behold one day in late 2007/early 2008 I got an e-mail note from Diane herself. I nearly flipped out!
I had been an admirer of her work since her days in the old magazine
"For the Love of Cross Stitch"
I still have all of the magazines too....somewhere....
we e-mailed back and forth and finally she asked me if I would be willing to model stitch and finish a fob for her? I agreed and that very first project was:
from this first collaboration, our friendship and our working together has grown into a relationship that, frankly, I do not know what I would do without. We pray for each other, we share our battles, our sorrows, our joys, our victories. I have never personally met her or any of her family members, but I know them and I love them. I also help her daughter, Nikki, in the stitching and finishing department for her company Country Cottage Needleworks. There are very few days that go by that we don't exchange some short text conversation. Both Diane and Nikki indulge me in "pitching ideas" to them. LOL! We'll see if my latest pitch wins (or not)!! HA HA! Not only is she my friend, but Diane allows me to create with her - creating beautiful things that people all over the world admire and then recreate themselves. How awesome is that?
"It's a Wonderful Life"...
isn't it though? Think about George Bailey in the classic Christmas movie. All down on himself, depressed...talk about kicking a dog while he's down. I've felt like old George on occasion, as you know...and instead of staying down I've decided that I'm going to think about the "Wonderful Life" I lead...how through connections that I've made from this blog and the true, real, friendships I've made through my simple words written from my heart here have changed my life. Because, dear friends, they have changed my life....
Diane told me....
I could quote her because she says, "...I wouldn't know what I'd do with you!"
that makes me smile, when my part is so insignificant, but it makes me proud too. But what I'm most proud of, is my friendship with her and with her family.
I'm know I'm not alone...
when I say, Blogging and Social Media make the world a smaller place. It connects, it draws people and hearts together. YES! There is manure mixed in with hearts and rainbows, but in the end the people that count, still drop by, still drop in, still drop you a note and let you know what you mean to them.
I have made true connections with people all over the world. I'm glad that there has been angels working over time to bring me friendships that make my life complete.
Renee, who always knows just the right thing to say and makes me laugh
Barbara across the pond that is my prayer partner
Donna in Illinois that advises and listens and always there with a smile and hug.
Sherre with her cards and letters and good wishes
Edgar and Rico who hunt red handled 1950 kitchen utensils on their ramblings - just because
Jannie who encourages me with her wit and humor
Pat the sweetest lady anyone would ever wish to meet always worrying if I'm OK
Cindy the most sincerely kind individual I've ever met
Yvonne...she's right in the same league as Cindy
Robin who unfailingly always visits and comments on my blog and a hundred others
Marie my sister of my heart
Holly who gives me more credit than I deserve
I could go on and on...
(and if your name isn't here...know you don't mean any less to me, I love you all, dearly!!!)
And likely...I'll never meet any of you face to face...but yet we are connected!
See....It IS a Wonderful Life!
This year in May 2015...
I received a letter. I read through it and I was just a blubbering fool by the end. Because you see, I honestly do not set out to set the world on fire. I truly am just a chubby, middle aged woman from Indiana. I lead a simple life and this blog is sort of my one "claim to fame" in life ...well beside my children. Although I have authored this blog for 10 years now... I never truly realize how far my words travel. Let me share this letter with you...
Last year in August after a particularly bad headache I collapsed in my kitchen. The last think I remember was "this is it, Oh God don't let this be it!" I had a massive brain aneurysm.
I woke three months later. I had had so many surgeries I was.confused, weak and unsure who I was and very confused about who the two grown children were beside me! I only remembered them as babies. It took months of work to reconnect with the present.
Each day my beautiful daughter Sophie read to me, showed me all the wonderful blogs you had written, and showed me all the cross stitch I had done. I couldn't believe they were mine and though I am clumsy I have started again. Your blog inspires me when I am too tired to fight on. My Faith has been incredible, Through everything I know there is plan, just not sure what it is! God has been there with me in the dark days and there have been a number of those. I have met some incredible people and I know my recovery which my surgeon calls "miraculous" is for a reason.
My reading and cross stitch is slow work, but there has been progress, and I want you to know that your blog made me laugh, cry and aspire to keep going, I won't be going anywhere for a while, but one day in the future I would love to meet you, share a pot of coffee and share the joy of being alive!
I hope this is readable, Sophie usually checks my spelling and checks if everything makes sense - so here goes my 1st solo email.
Love to you and your family
"He shall cover you with His feathers
and under His wings you shall take refuge." Ps. 91.4
and under His wings you shall take refuge." Ps. 91.4
Mary, from New Zealand...
with her daughter and son on his graduation day from University in a picture she sent to me.
when she awoke last year in late 2014 it was in the middle of the my 25 Days of Christmas...
Mary and I had exchanged e-mails back and forth for years prior, and I had wondered where she was...in May I found out.
See "It's a Wonderful Life"....and God has blessed me so with you!
That, my friends...
is DAY 18!!
Thank you for being a part of my life!
I'll be keeping my hands to work..
my heart to God..
while treating my neighbor with kindness and respect,
and trying to be the best me I can be.
It's hard, isn't it?
I may stumble and I may fall, but I pick myself up and I remember:
To thine own self be true...
I want to BE the change I want to SEE.