Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fair Square Exchange Pictures

Here are the promised pictures from the Fair Square exchanges I have done:

The squares I stitched for Melissa for the Halloween exchange

The squares Melissa stitched for me for Halloween

The squares that Jayne stitched for me for the Autumn round

The squares I stitched for Jayne

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the squares I stitched for Cyndi for the Christmas round, and the squares I stitched for Nancy for the Thanksgiving round haven't arrived yet. I have received squares from both Cyndi and Nancy but didn't take pictures before I left for home so I will post them later. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Some more pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Header

A big thank you to Becca for the awesome header she created for me. Now I have even more motivation to finally stitch up a SWO pin for myself (her original design used my pictures of the dolphins I stitched for the hubby ... though not quite appropriate for my blog). She was working on developing a portfolio to possibly start a shop for headers on etsy. She is just super talented in both photoshop type things and ink and paint artwork. I still need to get with her about the crest.

Stop by again soon ... I promise there will be a large picture update coming. Have a great day!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving ... a time of family, friends and a reminder every year to give thanks. However, thanks is something we should be giving each and every day. God has blessed us so much in our lives. There is always something to be thankful for, not matter what situation you are currently in.

Right now is a tough time for me in many ways, but in many ways it is actually quite easy. It is tough to be away from those I love for such an extended period of time. It is tough to not always have the communication I would like with others (especially my husband). It is tough to spend days in the confines of a vessel that's about 100ft by 900ft and about 3 stories that I actually spend time on. It is tough to not really be able to walk away from work ... to separate the various parts of my life.

However, it is easy because I am at most 15 min from anywhere I need to be. It is easy because I don't have to worry about cooking meals, or a place to rest my head. It is easy because I don't have to think about what to wear in the morning. It is easy because I have the priviledge of seeing an amazing amount of stars at night. It is easy because I am not going through this alone.

Thanksgiving is tough away from your family and friends. However, I am thankful for a command that cares and puts the effort into making it close to what it may be like at home. I am thankful for all the hard work that the CS's and FSA (culinary specialists and food service attendents) put in for the past week or so preparing the feast that we had yesterday. It was truly a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

I am thankful for so many things each and every day. I am thankful for:
- my husband first and foremost
- our family, immediate and extended
- the friends we have made along the way, that are there when we need them
- a home to return to at the end of this deployment
- a wonderful church home
- the advances in technology, that communications are a little easier now than they were 10 years ago
- a steady job
- each and every day I can enjoy God's creation

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. God Bless you all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Time for another Update

I know it's been awhile since I've updated. First off, it was really exciting since I won Becca's giveaway on her blog. I'm looking forward to see what we come up with together for a family crest.

The main thing I have been working on are my squares for the Fair and Square exchange. I have received both my Thanksgiving and Christmas squares ... thank you Nancy and Cyndi! The squares I have stitched are on their way to their new owners. So I think I may be done with squares until I return home (depending on what seasonal and/or holiday rounds are coming up).

I am also almost done with the music piece that I started back in August. I'm just working on the detail work right now. I think when I finish that I will work on DH's stocking for awhile though I might start something else small ... who knows.

As for what I've been up to, it's been the same old, same old. It has definitely turned into ground hogs day around here. We are getting ready for our Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This and that

Just a few odds and ends to catch up on. First off, I want to post about a give away that one of my fellow Navy wives is doing. Please go visit her at Lovely Yellow Ribbons ... the post is a few posts down for the Christmas give away. She does wonderful artwork.

Also, I want to thank Jen for tagging me. I haven't forgotten about it, but I think I will have to do the 6 (or 5) random facts about me another time.

The last is a thank you for the award given to me by Margie ... she passed on the Kick A** Blogger Award. Unfortunately I will not be able to pass it on this time.

Thank you for taking the time to visit me. I continue to be busy ... though we definitely get into Groundhog Day (each day can be very similar). I am finishing up my Thanksgiving squares and trying to decide what to do for my Christmas exchange. Thanks again to everyone that has left me a note and those that have thought of me while I'm gone.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long awaited update

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet ;). I've just been extremely busy and not had much time to sit down and update my blog. I am way behind in reading other blogs, so I might be playing catch up for a long while once I return home.

Let's see ... first off, I have received my squares from Melissa and Jayne. I love both sets. I will try to get some pictures loaded at some point. I also have my partner for the Thanksgiving round, which will be Nancy K. Now I just need to sit down and stitch the squares (which I can now that I received the fabric I ordered from Mary Kathryn). I apologize for the lack of links, but I don't have the time to add them in.

First, to answer Laurie's question a few posts ago ... no I am not part of a carrier strike group. I am on an LHD, which is a large deck amphib. It is the flag ship of an expeditionary strike group. So the ship I'm on is very similar to an aircraft carrier. The majority of the aircraft we carry are helos, though we do have a handful of Harriers. We don't have a catapult, but that's alright since the Harriers are VSTOL aircraft. VSTOL is Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing. All but two of our aircraft are Marine aircraft (we have two MH-60s which are the SAR (search and rescue) detatchment, flown by Navy pilots). In addition to the Marine ACE (aviation combat element, I think) we also have a few other elements of the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit). There are about 1400 Marines embarked on my ship (there are about 1000 Sailors on board). We also carry LCACs (landing craft air cushion), which help to land the Marines and all of their gear if they get sent ashore.

There are two other amphibious ships in company, an LPD and an LSD. We also have two destroyers and a cruiser that make up the rest of our strike group. We stayed together during our Atlantic transit, but have been given separate taskings a lot of the time. So sometimes we see each other and sometimes we don't.

My ship had the opportunity to pull into Haifa, Israel. It was a great port visit and an excellent chance to visit Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. I don't know that I would ever have a chance to visit Israel otherwise. I look forward to sharing pictures with you all. It was very interesting to visit the Holy Land and actually see the places that the Bible talks about. It made a lot of it much more real.

I have to wrap this up since I need to go to bed. A quick stitching update ... I've actually had a chance to work a bit on DH's stocking. I'm currently working on that, the violin piece I had started (I'm on to the back stitching so almost done with that) and I need to start Nancy's squares. I have a few other projects that I hope to start, but trying to finish others before I start them. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blogoversary Winner

Sorry it has taken me so long, but I have been having trouble with the internet on my ship. Without further ado ... using ... comment #9 is the winner. So Monique ... keep your eyes open for a package from me. It may take me some time but I won't forget about you :). Congratulations!

I also found out that my Halloween Fair & Square exchange has been received ... Melissa - I'm glad you like them. Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bridge watch 101

Well, we've been underway for two weeks now. We pulled out of Norfolk on a grey, windy day to head down to NC to pick up the Marines that would be deploying with our strike group. After spending a few days anchored off the coast of NC, we met up with the rest of the ships in our strike group and headed east across the Atlantic.

I have been spending most of my time standing watch on the bridge as the Officer of the Deck (so basically in charge of the navigation and driving of the ship while we are underway). I spend anywhere from 2-5 hrs at a time on the bridge (possibly longer for special evolutions). I have a watch team that consists of two other officers (a Junior OOD and a conning officer), the quartermaster of the watch (QMOW), the boatswain mate of the watch (BMOW), a helmsman, lookouts and a messenger. The JOOD helps me with the running of the watch team, taking care of checklists and helping with comms with other ships and such. The conning officer basically drives the ship ... they give the course orders and speed orders to the helmsman. The helmsman is the hands on the wheel of the ship. The QMOW concentrates on navigation ... they plot where we are and let me know if we are on our required track or not. The BMOW passes word over the 1MC (announcing system) as well as overseas the helmsman, lookouts and messenger. The lookouts do just that ... look out and report any contacts that they see. The messenger is there to run errands such as taking the Captain's night orders down to CIC (combat information center). We all work together to make sure that the ship stays on schedule, balancing flight ops, contact management and many other evolutions.

The thing I loved about crossing the Atlantic was the clear nights when you could see thousands of stars. There's very little light pollution in the middle of the Atlantic so that was an amazing thing to see.

On the stitching front, I did have a chance to finish Melissa's squares for the Halloween Round of F&S. They left the ship a few days ago so hopefully they will be arriving shortly. I have also worked some on DH's stocking as well as my violin piece. I am not going to post pictures at the moment ... so you will have to put up with wordy entries. The main reason is that we don't have a lot of bandwidth on the ship to upload the pictures.

Just a reminder, you still have a few more days to sign up for my blogoversary give away in the previous post. I will draw a name on the 18th. Happy stitching to all!

PS - Thank you to all who have volunteered to send me packages while I'm gone. I appreciate the love and support from this community!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Upcoming blogoversary

Well, amazingly enough I am coming up on my 1 year blogoversary in less than a month. I would like to do a give away in honor of it. So you have the next 24 days or so to make a comment on this post. I will draw a name on September 18th, and the winner will receive a gift from me.

I have determined what stash I'm taking with me on deployment. I'm probably taking more than I will have time for ... but I figure that's better than running out. Thank you to those who have volunteered to send me supplies or care packages. I will be e-mailing my ship address to you. Thanks again!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another award

I received this award from Jen and Mary Ann. Thanks ladies!

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

So I'm going to nominate

1. Miss Hope
2. C
3. Rachel
4. Jill
5. Samantha
6. Becca
7. Kristina

I read all the blogs in my blog roll and have a bunch of non-stitching ones on my google reader. I love each and every blog that I visit but decided to narrow it down to seven. I also decided to go with non-stitching blogs this time. Enjoy :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I borrowed this from Helen's blog.

I do wonder if there is anyone who reads but doesn’t post comments, I don’t mind as I do read some blogs but don’t comment as well. But it would be nice just to say hello and maybe come and read your blog as well
So who reads my blog?
1. As a comment on this post, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you know me a little or a lot, anything you remember! And if we’ve never met in real life, leave me a comment of your favorite post I wrote and why it was your favorite.
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually really funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you.
3.Do you read my posts from a reader,blogroll or is this your first visit?
Thank you

As for stitching ... I've been working on DH's stocking. I have been able to move up to the top of the stocking but don't have a recent picture. Hopefully I'll get one up later this week. Now I just need to figure out what supplies and such I'm bringing with me on deployment to stitch while I'm gone. Have a great night!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Odds and ends

Well, the past week or so has been an adventure for me. The big plan was to travel with my parents down to FL to visit grandparents and go to a friends graduation. My parents drove down to my house on Wed and we headed down to south of Jacksonville on Thursday. I, of course, made the trip even more complicated by getting poison ivy. It wasn't too bad to begin with, but somehow I reacted poorly and my hands and fingers got really swollen and painful at the end of last week (I had gotten into it about two weeks ago). Thank the Lord for urgent care clinics ... I woke up Friday with swollen eyes and extremely painful hands. So we found a clinic that morning that gave me a nice steroid shot and prescriptions for three medications. It worked rather quickly and the swelling started to go down later that day. I was able to fully enjoy enjoy our dear friend's graduation from college on Saturday. After the graduation (in Tallahassee), my parents, sister and I head further out the FL panhandle to FT Walton Beach to visit my other grandmother. The best part was that I was able to stitch again that night :), finishing up "Thank You For Serving".

"Thank You For Serving"
Designer: The Sunflower Seed
Fabric: 30 ct R&R "Apple Brown Bindy"
Floss: Recommended WDW

So after finishing that, I started on another project. I decided to start a dimensions kit that I had picked up called "Music Is Harmony". I enjoyed stitching on it while watching the Olympics and on our long drive back to VA yesterday. It was relaxing after being out in the sun on Sunday (my dad rented a boat so we went out to enjoy the nice weather). Here's a pic of the current progress.

I had picked up the kit since I play (well, used to at this point) the violin. I like to vary the fabric that I work on. In many ways I really enjoy working on linens and such, but Aida doesn't bother me either.

I received my Fair Square round 8 exchange today from Paula C. We share a love of lighthouses so she stitched up Bent Creek's The Lighthouse on Snapper Island for me.

Paula - I absolutely love them :). I have been thinking about what I want to do with my squares and think I have decided that I am going to do a scrapbook with the signature squares (with pictures of how I finish the designs). Some of them are just calling out for different types of finishes. So that will be one of my big projects when I return from deployment.

The last picture of the day is "find your song" back from the framer at my LNS. I picked it up last week after returning from our underway. Patti did a wonderful job again. I just dropped off "Thank You for Serving" and DH's dolphins today. I'm looking forward to seeing how those turn out.

Hope you have a great week. I'm enjoying watching the Olympics in the evenings and stitching (especially the swimming ... gotta love that 4X100 relay race from Sunday ... I miss the sport :)). Until next time ... God Bless!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fair Squares Arrive in WA

I found out yesterday that Paula C. had received her squares for Round #8 so I can share them with you all now. I'm glad to hear that she likes them. There were a lot of fun to stitch.

Design: Chocolate Lover from Lizzie Kate's Chocolate Lovers
Fabric: 32 ct. Lambswool
Floss: Recommended WDW & Sampler Threads

Hopefully I will have a finish later tonight for my Thank You for Serving. Just a few more touches are needed. All my stitching yesterday was for surprises ... so shhh it's a secret. I'm looking forward to being able to show them to you.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I knew I forgot one

I had one more picture to share with you. I was at the in-laws last weekend, and they finally had a chance to get a piece that I made them for their 40th wedding anniversary framed. Here it is ... I apologize for the glare.

In other big news ... I am now a qualified Surface Warfare Officer ... which means I am now authorized to wear this in uniform: SWO Pin. It's the first one in the top left corner.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

Well, it's about time that I am able to share some pictures with you all. I came home today to a mail box full of goodies. I received my squares from Monique and can finally show you the squares that I stitched for her as well.

Here are the ones that I stitched for her:

Design: Call of the Ocean Cottage
by Abby Middleton, X-Appeal Designs
Fabric: 32 ct. Lambswool
Floss: DMC

Monique stitched me some wonderful squares as well. My guess, knowing her is that they are mostly her own design. She even included a navy ship off in the distance. I love them Monique! The sand castle is awesome!

I have finished my squares for Paula C ... I just need to mail them tomorrow. I've also been able to do a lot of work on Thank You for Serving. I finished the top part and am just working on the bottom and need to do the personalization (still need to get the dates from my grandfather). So without further ado, here is my progress:

I also had some stash waiting for me. I decided to sign up for the autoshipment of LHN's Little Women, so I have received Quilting and Reading. I'm trying to decide what I want to do with these. The project will probably wait until I return from deployment. I took advantage of MaryKathryn's summer sale and picked up LHN's Bookshelf, My Mark's "redeemer" and Lizzie Kate's Treat Time and Gather a Harvest. Here's a picture of all my new stash:

I had a great time while I was in Newport. I learned a lot and got to explore the Northeast again. I like visiting, but don't think I would want to settle up there. I got a chance to walk part of the Cliff Walk, visit Fort Adams, see some of the wineries that RI has to offer, and spend multiple evenings walking downtown. Here's my favorite pictures from the Cliff Walk

So now back to cleaning the house. I came home to a nasty surprise since I was rushing so much when I left that I forgot to take out the trash. I don't remember what exact food item I had thrown out but I came home to a nice smell and multiple flies. It has been fun trying to kill them all and make sure I clean out the trash can really well. So some more cleaning tonight and the big project tomorrow before I head back to work on Tuesday is to mow the lawn. Three weeks, when it rains, causes a lot of growth. I now get to catch up on all of the household chores that I have not been missing. Hopefully I'll have some time to stitch this weekend. Have a great week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

Thanks Heather for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger award :). I really appreciate it!

Here are the rules of the award

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2. Put a link to the person you got the award from.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

So who to nominate?
1. Kristin Stitches - Kristin, another submarine wife, who does amazing work. I love the pieces that she has been working on.
2. Mystitchingtreasures - Barb, who has done a lot of great pieces for love quilts as well as personal pieces.
3. Sharon's Cross Stitch Obsession - Sharon, whose blog was one of the first I found and was one of the ones that inspired me to start blogging. Her work is fantastic!
4. Who has time to stitch??? - Sonda, who has had a lot of lovely finishes and great stories :).
5. Squazi & the Chicken - Suzanne, another wonderful stitching blogger. I found her while searching for engineering designs since she is engineer on hiatus.

It was hard to just chose five ... so many have inspired me. Though I did try to hit some blogs that have not been nominated yet. I enjoy each and every one of the blogs that I visit :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

PIF Update

Well, looks like I got my third person ... Gaby from Germany. So it's going to be a very international PIF ... and looks like it's spreading overseas :). This has introduced me to three new blogs, which will expand my knowledge since they are all foreign language (two also in English). Pictures really do speak 1000 words ... and break down some of the language barriers.

Other than that, I have finished Round 8 of Fair and Square ... Paula, I will be mailing it once I return home since I want to include a note :). I hope to finish Thank You for Serving soon too. Have a great week!

Friday, July 18, 2008

This and That

Well, I found out yesterday that Monique received her squares for the Summer Celebration Round of Fair and Square. You can see a pic at her site (I promise to post the picture as soon as I can upload it to my computer). I will post the pattern info again then, as I try to do with my finished pictures but since Heather asked, the design is from X-Appeal's Call of the Ocean by Abby Middleton. It was a fun and pretty quick stitch. I used the recommended DMC threads for it. For the signature block, I used the alphabet and numbers from Linda Bird's Happy Home Sampler in the Jul 08 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework.

In addition to finishing up Monique's block ... I have been working on Thank You for Serving. I have finished the American flag and started on the greenery at the top. Again ... I hope to share pictures of it with you soon. Upcoming projects include Fair & Square Round 8, as well as the Halloween and Autumn rounds. I'm enjoying my time in Newport ... able to catch up on reading and cross stitch and still study. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Oh, before I forget ... I still need one more person to sign up for my PIF. I have had two takers, Belinda from Slovakia and Pike from Finland. Two new bloggers to me ... and it will be fun to send thing across the ocean. So please, just one more volunteer ... to receive something hand stitched by me and in return, pay it forward to three more people ... either through your blog or in person. Thanks!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Picture Update

Yay! I was able to borrow a card reader ... here's my progress on "Thank You for Serving". I haven't been working on it at all since last week since I needed to finish my Summer Celebration Squares but this is as far as I got after I started it. Looking forward to putting some more stitches in it in the next few weeks.

As for me, I've been in Newport, RI for the past week and will be here for another few weeks for school. It's definitely a nice change of pace from my regular work. I get back to my room at a regular hour ... class starts between 7 and 8, so don't have to get up too early. I get to spend some time learning about other types of ships and other missions. It's really nice to be able to talk to other division officers and find out about their experiences. I'm enjoying my time up in the Northeast again.

Another benefit has been having the chance to travel up to Boston on the weekend. I've had a chance to see some old friends and hope to see more tomorrow and next weekend. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Quarter Century

Well, I think I am officially 25 (close enough anyways) ... I believe I was born around 11 am in the Naval Hospital in Charleston, SC. I was a very convenient baby :). At times it's so hard to believe that 25 years have gone by (which I'm sure is something my parents are saying today). There have been a lot of changes in the past 25 years. I don't have too much special planned today. For yet another year, DH is not here for my birthday (nor will we be together for his). Such is the military life, however. I was very blessed to have a card that he left for me and an e-mail waiting for me this morning from him. I have had many wonderful wishes already today ... nothing like a call from my "neighbor" this morning to wish me a happy birthday (the girl who's living next door to me during SWOS ... and when we are at sea as well).

I have been stitching and wish I could share my progress on "Thank You for Serving" but I forgot to bring the cord to download pictures from my camera to my computer. So until I can figure out a way to down load pictures or until I get home in about 2 and half weeks, there will be no pictures. I'm working on it and might be able to get some sooner. I've also been working on my Summer Celebration Squares for the Fair Square Exchange. I need to finish those by Monday to be on time ... I know I'm cutting it close to the wire ... don't worry Monique, I'll let you know if they are late but they should definitely be out by next week.

I'm still looking for two more people to sign up for a PIF. I have been impressed with the range of places people are visiting from. I'm hoping some more of the first time visitors will leave notes, but don't feel obligated. I would just love to know what leads people here.

Until next time ... Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Well, I've been going back and forth about doing this for months. I finally decided to sign up for a PIF on Paula's blog. I figured I could do three (some of the other ones with more people just seemed out of reach at this point). So ... most of you know how this works. The first three people that leave a comment that they want to participate will receive something homemade from me sometime between now and Independence Day 2009. All you have to do is do the same for three more people and keep paying it forward.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Last 15 Years

Here's a meme that I got from my friend Jill.

Here's the deal. Think back on the last 15 years of your life.What would you tell someone that you hadn't seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life? You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize about you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love.

1. Well first off, in 1993 my family moved from Annapolis, MD to Tarpon Springs, FL. Little did we know at the time that this would be our last move for quite a bit of time (prior to that we had moved about every two years). My dad had resigned from the Navy and went into the reserves, as well as starting Adams Atomic Engines. I started school at my third (and last) elementary school that fall.

2. 94 - 97 I went to a magnet middle school for advanced math and science. During that time I was swimming and playing softball. Of course those were the awkward pre-adolescent years ... I think I have blocked out a lot of that time period.

3. In 1997 I started high school at a brand spankin new school (it was the second year that it was open) so there were no seniors that year. I was doing International Baccalaureate (another magnet program) which consisted of a lot of college level courses. High school saw me swimming on the school team, playing softball my sophomore year (winning the state championship) and participating in Mu Alpha Theta (a math competition team) as well as other various activities.

4. I graduated on June 5, 2001 and 24 days later reported to Annapolis to begin the fun that is known as plebe summer at USNA. That summer was the first of many that I would celebrate my birthday somewhere other than home.

5. At the Academy I studied Systems Engineering ... which eventually cumulated in doing a Trident Scholar project my senior year. I focused on determining the angle of approach of a target using a reconfigurable array of sonar sensors. Thus began my interest in underwater acoustics and sonar.

6. My four years at the Academy was also a great time of growth in my faith as a Christian. I got involved in OCF and met my core group of friends from the Academy. These are the friends that I can talk to after long stretches and pick up right where we left off. I also met my husband there and we started dating our senior year.

7. In May 2005, we graduated and were commissioned as ensigns and second lieutenants. About a week after graduation, my husband proposed to me in Central Park (we had stopped in NYC to see Wicked on our way home from a wedding at Holy Cross).

8. At the end of the summer, I headed up to Boston to work on my masters in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. A few months later, DH headed down to Charleston to begin the fun known as nuke school. We got married during the two weeks between Nuke School and Prototype on April 29, 2006. Afterwards he moved to Saratoga Springs, NY (which was a little bit closer). The best though was when he was in Groton for 3 months for Submarine Officer Basic School since we could visit every weekend.

9. In Jan 2007, DH finished up SOBC and moved down to VA. He flew out to meet his sub for the last month and a half of their deployment. He returned at the end of May ... I flew down to VA to close on our house and be there for homecoming. I graduated in June and reported to my ship two days later.

10. DH and I are currently doing the dual military thing. He is on a fast attack and I am on a large deck amphib. I can hardly believe that I have been aboard my ship for a year. DH left on deployment recently and I will be shortly. So far God has blessed us with similar schedules for the most part. We have settled into the area and are looking forward to having more time to explore it. DH just recently qualified in submarines and I will be heading up to RI for my school this weekend and should be qualified by the end of the month.

I think I am going to leave it open to those who would like to participate and not actually tag anyone. My past fifteen years have included a lot of growth since it covers the time from 5th grade to a year out of grad school. I hope you enjoy ... thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

As Promised

As promised ... a post full of pictures. First up, DH's stocking. As you can see, I'm almost done with the bottom part of the stocking. I hope to start work on the top part of the stocking before I leave for deployment. I don't think it will be done by this Christmas (I'm not going to take it with me) but it should be done by next Christmas.

Next up, the quilt that my sister made for our wedding. The two middle rows have pictures from our wedding. I will have to get a close up of the square in the bottom corner that has the date embroidered on it. She did a wonderful job and I have finally hung it up in our bedroom.

Wedding Picture Quilt
Made by Brianne with love

Here are the squares that I made for Sue W. for round 7. I decided to go with a nautical theme since I'm in the Navy and Sue works for the VA. The flags in the corners spell out our initials (DM and SW). They are delta, mike, sierra and whiskey. I'm glad to hear that Sue likes them. The ship's wheel in the middle is a modification of a design.

Fair Square Round 7
Design: Inspired by "Signal Flags and Ship's Wheel" (Judith Brown)
Fabric: 32 ct French Country Latte
Fibers: DMC

Here's a non stitching related picture. Last weekend I went to the Surface Warrior Ball in Norfolk, VA. Here is a picture of me and my roommate all dressed up :) I treated myself to having my hair and makeup done.

Yep, I finished it today ... here is "find you song" all complete, signature and all. Now it just needs to go to the framers and then hung on a wall somewhere in my house :)

Design: "find your song" by My Mark Designs
Fabric: 32 ct. Wichelt Natural Linen
Fibers: DMC 806 and WDW Santorini

The last two pictures I'll leave you with are "Liberty Lights" and "Thank You for Serving" all kitted up. I started "Thank You for Serving" tonight, but don't have any progress pics for you. I am stitching it for my Grandfather who served 20 years in the Army. I may stitch it for others as well, I'm liking it so far.

Have a wonderful week! Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Teaser :)

Well, I have been stitching since my last update ... I just haven't taken any pictures yet. I plan to do a full post with pics tomorrow night. I found out today that Sue W. received her squares for Fair and Square round 7. I can't wait to show them to you ... and explain them. I'm glad to hear that she likes them.

Other than that, I have been working on "find your song" and DH's stocking. I have been rotating between the two for the past week. I have decided what I'm stitching for Monique for the summer round of Fair and Square ... I just need to go pick up the require threads for it. I am almost done with the bottom of the stocking and should be moving up to the top soon. The problem I found with my original way of working on the stocking is that my threads would get mixed up (since I kept what was left over since it would be used again in another part) and the light colors are really hard to distinguish from each other ... even in a great light. That's what I get for the weeks and months in between working on the project.

I'm almost done with "find your song" ... only three more musical motifs and two letters to go. It should be finished by tomorrow and then just needs to go to the LNS for framing. So look out for pics tomorrow! Have a great night!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Songs, stockings and quilts

Well, it has been a little while since I have posted. I haven't been doing a lot of stitching until lately. I did finish my Fair and Square exchange for Sue, just need to get it to the post office and send it to her. I hope she enjoys it ... it should be waiting for her when she returns from her vacation.

I started "find your song" by My Mark Designs on Friday. I finally got the fabric for it. This was the design that I asked for inputs on the fabric due to the floss that I would be using. I decided to go with a natural linen. It's looking great so far (I think). Thanks for all of the inputs. Monique is the designer and also my partner for the summer seasonal Fair and Square exchange. Still trying to work out the design for her squares.

I have also had a chance to work on DH's stocking as well. I have finished up the green in the bottom part of the stocking and started on the yellows. There is some definite progress ... I just need to sit down and designate times to work on this. It has often gotten pushed aside for other projects.

I have two projects that have been kitted up ... "Liberty Lights" designed by Erica Michaels Designs and "Thank You For Serving" by The Sunflower Seed. The first was an extra goodie from Heather as part of our 4th of July F&S exchange. I picked out some linen from my LNS and as I am looking at it realize that I picked out the exact linen that the model was stitched on other than the count (I have 32 rather than the 30ct it was stitched on) - R&R's Dark Expresso. I just realized this today ... though I've had it for over a week. The second design is one that I saw at my LNS on Friday and decided to get everything to stitch it while I was there. I am planning on stitching it for my grandfather ... and probably a few others in my family as well depending on how well the first goes. The model is stitched on a yummy R&R Apply Brown Bindy which is hand dyed. I am looking forward to both of these projects.

Here are the lilies that grow in our front yard. Unfortunately they are past their prime now and are started to drop their flowers. They were pretty while they last thought.

And as a final though ... I wanted to showcase some of my sister's work. She made this quilt for me as a graduation gift when I graduated from college. The picture is from prior to completion but is just missing the outer border. She also made my husband and I a wonderful quilt for our wedding ... unfortunately I don't seem to have a picture of it. I finally bought some hangers for it this weekend and was able to hand it in our room ... so I will get a picture of it in the future and show it to you. Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Good Mail Day!

Got home from work, open my mail box and this is what I found:

Squares from Sue W., my partner for Round 7 of the Fair Square Exchange
Along with a whole bunch of goodies:
And I also received the threadholder that I ordered from Studio Twenty along with a Vickie Clayton set of silk thread as an extra goodie. Plus I just found out today that Monique (of Studio Twenty) will be my partner for the Summer Season Celebration round of Fair Squares. Can't wait!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Squares, stash and misc stitching

Since I have no desire to post things in any sort of chronological order, I am going to start with the squares I received today. Heather spoiled me rotten with the squares that she sent me for the 4th of July Fair Square Exchange. The squares she stitched were amazing. She also included a great chart, along with some of the floss required and a neat little heart. Here's all of the great goodies and of course the squares themselves.

Since I got those today, I decided to head to my LNS to pick up the other threads required for the piece as well as some DMC that I needed to complete my next set of squares. While there, I picked up some goodies for both Round 7 and the Season Celebration (Summer) exchanges. In the same area, there is also a quilt shop, so I picked up some fabric as well. I was good though and did not enhance my stash at all while I was there. When I came home, I was blessed by the mail. I received two charts that I ordered from a new (to me) ONS that is based in Norfolk. I also received some materials for a surprise that I am working on as well as a picture mug that I ordered for the hubby to take with him on deployment. It was a great mail day :). Here are the new charts that I got. Since I was unable to get all of the Something In Common charts for the Brides Tree, I decided to go with Rosewood Manor Best Wishes. Maybe I can now catch up with that SAL. I also picked up Call of the Ocean by X-Appeal. Here's my new stash:)

Over Memorial Day, I believed I mentioned the entire family (minus my sister) came down to visit. Both my MIL and SIL brought stitching projects along with them. I wasn't really in the mood to pick up DH's stocking to work on, so I decided to stitch up Lizzie*Kate's Work Pray Trust. I made substitutions in the colors since I didn't have the ones called for. I ended up with half the colors as called for and the other half with substitutes (that were somewhat similar). This took me about two days of actual stitching (3 from start to finish).
Work Pray Trust by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 28 ct
Threads: DMC

Here is a picture with the fabric that I picked out to finish this with. I will probably finish it as a pinkeep (my first) when I get a chance. Let me know what you think of the fabric. When I picked this up, I also got some other fabric for my stash: some patriotic and some musical fabric. (all at AC Moore).

Currently I am working on round 7 of Fair Square Exchange. I will probably try to get some stitches in on DH's stocking this weekend as well. Who knows if I'll start another project ... depends on how I'm doing with the stocking. Happy Stitching and enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm Back :)

Well, it's been awhile since I've been able to post to my blog. I've been able to keep up with others for the most part, but I apologize for the lack of comments recently. When I'm underway, our connectivity is slow and I don't usually have a lot of time for personal web browsing. I was glad to hear that Heather received her squares in a timely fashion. I finished them right before I left to meet up with my ship in FL and had DH drop them off at the post office. Heather and I were partnered up for the Fourth of July holiday round, so I found lots of patriotic goodies for her as well ... some fabric, a few spools of flag ribbon, a Bent Creek pattern and Weeks Dye Works floss called Independence. It was a lot of fun looking for the extra goodies. Here's the whole kit and caboodle and then a picture of the squares themselves. I'm so glad you like them, Heather :)

So what have I been up to while I was gone? My ship was out doing operations with the other ships that will deploy with us as well as the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) that will embark. Our strike group consists of a large deck amphib (my ship), two other amphibs, two destroyers and a cruiser (oh and there will be a sub that's nominally attached to us). During the past three weeks we did various formations with the other ships and anchored often to do operations with the Marines. We embarked about 2000 Marines on board my ship, both ground troups and the ACE (air combat element). To put the number in perspective, we have about 1100 Sailors permanently attached to my ship. Bringing the Marines on board fills us up to capacity. We did a lot of flight operations for the ACE to get their carrier quals and do some missions as well. The past three weeks were dress rehearsals for when we embark the Marines for deployment later this year. Here are some pics from the last few weeks.

One of the destroyers coming alongside for underway replenishment practice

The "bone yard" - all the ACE's aircraft, CH-46's taking off

Swim call from the stern gate

The best part was coming home yesterday. Our ship organized a family day cruise so our families came out to meet the ship in LCUs (landing craft utility). I spent the day showing my parents, FIL and SIL around the ship. I took them to engineering, the flight deck, my stateroom, the wardroom, the bridge and other various places. We enjoyed the wonderful weather that we were blessed with coming in. Here's one of my favorite pics of the day - me and my mom on the 07 level.

Hope you all have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Please remember all those that are serving and have served in the Armed Forces (both in the US and wherever you may be from) this weekend. I'm going to enjoy spending time with my family. Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fair Square: Sent and Received

I came back from our anniversary trip to find Laura's squares for me in the mail and to find out that she has received her squares from me as well so I can share both with you.

Here are the squares and the treats I sent along for Laura. I knew that she liked Mary Engelbreit, so found a great design by her. I also included a magnet (it had a friends saying, but I don't remember the exact saying), a journal, some bright fabric, a needle minder and some red hand dyed thread. I'm glad to hear that Laura likes it.
Mary Engelbreit, Cross Stitch for All Seasons
Cheery Cherry Tieback
Thread: DMC
Fabric: 32 ct Country French Latte

Laura spoiled me as well. She sent me a great tin of fruit drops (who knows ... might be used as a finish at some point), some great hand dyed threads and a wonderful flag day/4th of July pattern (too bad I already finished my square for 4th of July or I might have used this one). The squares feature a lighthouse ... one of my favorite things :) Thanks Laura!

"The Lighthouse Sampler" By The Bay Needleart

As I said in my intro, we just got back from spending some time out in South Western VA for our anniversary. DH surprised me with a stay at a wonderful B&B cabin. We enjoyed wine tasting, the mountain air, good food and a wonderful show. It was great to be able to spend our anniversary together (#2) with our schedules. We both took some leave and were able to enjoy time together without any contact (e-mail, cells, etc) with the outside world. I will share some pictures when I get back at the end of the month. Happy Stitching!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Who, what, where, when and why?

I saw the following on Barbara's blog and decided to answer her questions here.

Who taught you to stitch, and were there any special circumstances or memories surrounding this?
My mom and my grandma taught me to stitch. My mom did quite a bit of cross stitch when we were younger. I think one of the first things I stitched were some Christmas ornaments. I think I mostly learned using kits and have did mostly kits until I was in high school.

What’s your favorite thing to stitch? (A project, a kind of stitching, etc.)
I love stitching medium sized projects. I like a more contemporary country feel (somewhat of an oxymoron). I have stitched a variety of projects and like doing those that feel realistic.

Why do you stitch?
I like doing homemade things. I love doing stitching for gifts. It is something to keep my hands occupied while watching movies or television. It's also something I can do and spend time with my husband while he is playing video games. It is very relaxing and I enjoy creating.

When is your special stitching time?
This varies greatly. When I'm home, often it's in the evenings after work. I also love weekends where I can spend a lot of time stitching. If I'm underway with the ship, usually I'll be able to spend a bit of time on Sundays or evenings when we pull in to port. I don't have as much time then but may get an hour or two every few days.

Where is your special stitching place? (An accompanying picture would be great!)
I typically stitch in one of our two armchairs in the living room ... we have a large bay window. I'll stitch there at night as well, though don't really have the best light.

Well that's my who, what, where, when and why ... though not in that order. I'm actually underway at the moment. I have sent off my round 6 Fair and Square which should be arriving any day now ... as soon as I have word I will show it to you. Other than that, just need to finish up the one for 4th of July, which hopefully will go out really early :). Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stitching meme

I have seen this on multiple people's blogs ... since I'm working on exchanges right now, don't have much to show so decided to do the following meme.
  1. How do you hold your fabric? Depends on the type and size of fabric. The aida stocking that I am working on is in a lap scroll frame. I have decided that I like stitching on certain types of linen in hand, using more of a sewing motion. Aida, I definitely prefer a hoop or the scroll frame (though have stitched in hand before).

  2. Floss licker? That would be an affirmative :)

  3. How do you thread your needle? Usually lick and thred through.

  4. What needle do you like best? Not particular at all ... got some smaller needles when I started working in linen (before often just used the needles that came in kits).

  5. Are you a needle loser? Sometimes, but my frames have magnets on them and I have a nice magnetic needle keeper (though managed to lose one off of it by flinging it to the floor one day ... I'm sure it's underneath the chair somewhere).

  6. What fabric do you prefer to stitch on? I am learning to like linen a lot, but don't mind working on Aida either. Often I'll use the recommended fabric but it just depends. Also depends what I'm going to be using the project for.

  7. Bobbins or floss bags? Bobbins for DMC. My few skeins of overdyes and specialty floss are all how they came (there are about 6 of them).

  8. Are you a scissors collector? Nope, I have one pair that I bought recently. Before I just used regular scissors or my mom's sewing scissors (the kind that have a spring in them)

  9. Do you do your own framing, and if so, do you lace or pin? Mostly when I don't have the time to get it framed before it's to be given as a gift. I neither lace nor pin but usually use the mounting boards for embroidery.

  10. Are you a floss floozy? Not really.

  11. Silk?Haven't tried stitching with it yet.

  12. Railroader?I had to google this when I saw the term ... nope, I'm not.

  13. Are you a pattern or designer snob? Nope.

  14. Do you get antsy when you give someone a stitched gift? Sometimes but not really. I've had good reception of my gifts so far.

  15. Have you reached S.A.B.L.E.? Not at this point ... still fairly small stash.

  16. Do you wash your projects? I haven't really.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Framed Finish

Well, it's been awhile since I have posted but I've mostly been working on my Fair Squares exchanged so haven't had anything to show. Just a little bit more to do and it should be off on its way (hopefully next weekend).

I did pick up the gift for my friends on Thursday from my LNS. I think it turned out wonderfully. I hope they like it.

Framed by My Hand Neddlewerks
Patti Nicolosi

So stitching has been getting done ... just nothing to show you all yet. Other than that, I've been keeping busy with work. On Friday, DH and I went to the Submarine Birthday Ball with a group from his command. It was a fun chance to dress up. Here is a picture of DH and me. There are two very solemn ceremonies that are a part of this, the tolling of the bells for the boats on eternal patrol and the table set up to honor MIA (missing in action). The boats on eternal patrol all of the submarines that have been lost at sea ... I think there are around 70 US boats. There was a guest speaker, they cut the birthday cake (cut by the newest qualified in submarines and the person that had been qualified the longest ... a WWII veteran who has been qualified for almost 70 years), dinner and dancing. All in all a fun evening.

Well, hopefully there will be a bit of time for stitching today but there is lots to be done. I'm heading out of town for the week so there's stuff to finish before I leave. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weddings, stockings and floss, O my

Well, I've had a little bit more time to stitch this week. Yesterday I finished up the following sampler as a wedding present. It was a really quick stitch which would be what one would expect since I found the design in Quick & Easy Cross Stitch Gifts part of The Joys of Cross Stitch series published by Oxmoor House. It's definitely not your typical wedding sampler. However, I wanted to make a piece that had some meaning for both of us. The bride and I had a conversation about the worst part about being military was that you made friends but then they (or you) would move away. So I thought the following verse would be perfect for her. There are four parts of the design ... with interchangeable verses and borders. I didn't particularly like the colors in the design, so I picked some colors that I believe the couple is using to decorate. I hope you like it as well.

Design: A Friend (from Quick & Easy Cross Stitch Gifts)
Fabric: 28 ct Flax color
Floss: DMC

Next I have the promised update on my stocking for DH. I haven't made any progress on this in about a week, but plan to try to put some stitches in it tonight after I finish up chores and such around the house. Once I finish the bottom, I can go back up to the top ... which includes the personalization. Then I have to do the backstitching and beads ... though I am going to take it off the frame to do the beading. It should be interesting since this is my first project with beads. So slowly making progress :)

And now for a question to all you dear stitchers. I picked up the floss below to do "Find Your Song" from MyMark . Now my question is what color fabric should I use? I would like something that the white and blue will show up well against. I did find a DMC color that matches the darker blue for the solid color part of the design. However, I am at a loss for fabric color ... too light and the white won't show up at all. I would appreciate any suggestions that you all have.
Yesterday also included a trip to my LNS to pick up some extras for my fair squares exchanges. The main reason to drop by was to drop off the above piece for framing ... so I can't wait to show it to you once I get it back. While there I picked up the above floss and another highly variegated floss (more with some purples and greens). I'm planning to probably stitch the "find your song" for my choir director as well. I was good when I went to the store since the only additions to my stash were the flosses ... the rest of my purchase were for gifts.

I have to take a second to thank Mary Kathyrn from Handcrafts Online. I've placed two orders with her recently. The designs that I ordered came very quickly. I can't praise her enough for her quick response to e-mail. I had also ordered some fabric, which hadn't arrived. When I e-mailed her, she quickly responded to let me know that she was still waiting for it. However, she had another type of similar color that she could send me instead. In addition, when I told her that I didn't know much about the different types of linen, she offered to send some small samples so I could tell the difference. She has great customer service. She was also my first partner for the Fair Square exchange. So thank you Mary Kathryn! I appreciate all of your help!

Well, I'm off to do some grocery shopping and hopefully meet up with a friend for lunch. Have a wonderful Saturday!