Saturday, December 29, 2012

Knitting Back on Track. Finally. And GOOD eats

 
What a good morning!  I learned how to bind off, fix dropped stitches, and start a new skein of yarn with the assistance of U tube!!!!!  Now, I'm back on track and knitting my hands off to get this finished because I have SOOOOOOOOOO many cross stitching things going on and to get started. I project to be finished with this by monday. XXXXXX my stitchy fingers.
 
I love this brown and green tween yarn. I'm half way done. Mr. Darcy is loving it. He has a brown leather jacket and a green jacket too. I will have him "model" it for you when it's done. He's quite easy on the eyes......LOL
 
Then I read "Blocking my project???"  do I have to block this?????  Well, I  sure have all the resources now to go figure. It may be a little wobbly here and there but he knows it's made with all my love.
 
Still to do this week:
 
take the tree down
pack the village up and put the village people in their yearly home where they learn YMCA over again.
vacuum and dust
cook, clean, freeze leftovers
plan this week's meals
freshen up the guest bedroom ok, clean up the guests bedrooms
plan for welcoming in the year 2013 with a good time
finish Abe and Mary Lincoln models and frame
do about 25 loads of laundry---no kidding
get ready to watch Downton Abbey's new episode for this season
have a birthday party
 
I'm tired looking at the list. WHEW!
 
This is what Mr. Darcy cooked in the slow cooker last night.
It is scrumptious today for lunch.
 
He soaked the dried Navy beans for 24 hours
He cut all the good meat off the big bone and I froze sections of it for later in baggies
He added seasonings and 2 big hambones
I cooked it on LO in the crockpot all night.
 
This morning all the meat had fallen off the bone (which by the way went to Abbie)
And left this yummy, tummy-filling feast of ham and bean soup.
 
 
 
 


Yup, it was sooo good.
 
so if you have a leftover hambone this is a great way to make many bowls for freezing and good lunches for the winter.
 
Of course, Abbie was in HOG HEAVEN (no pun intended) when she got the part of the bone that was cooked all the meat off of.
 
She is not spoiled at all though. Really.  :0
 
 
She has eaten and knawed all she can and hid the rest of the bone under the sofa, like I didn't notice, for later treats.
 
She is certainly a hoot. Now, if I could only train her to help me clean the house or do laundry.......
 
I hope this finds you learning something new and a good full, warm tummy.
 
Till later from our house to yours,
Jennifer

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mary Todd Lincoln in Progress

I got up bright and early this morning, started the wood stove and made some coffee. Read alot and decided to finish up a design, Mary Todd Lincoln, to match with the sillouhette of Abe that I posted earlier.

  I tried to adjust Abe's sillouette a bit by adding his first initial in the left upper corner but my computer will not let me transfer this new one right now. I have no idea why but if you want to add an A to his that would be good to have them facing each other in 2 black or dark brown wood frames.
 
These should be quickies. Since I'm flying by the seat of my pants this week, I have many projects to work on, XXXXXX my fingers to finish Abe and onto Mary.
 
I really wanted oval black frames. I'm going thrifting today so I might find some.
 
 
If you remember the posting about Mary Lincoln, the book I recommended is quite old. You might be able to find it at the library, It's called  Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage by Ruther Painter Randall. If you are interested in history or the Lincolns, this book is supposed to fill you in on untold stories and the REAL Mary and Abe as found in safety box letters.
The book was published in 1953 and is really good.
 
here is his:
 
 
 
 
Happy stitchin'
Jennifer

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Color Therapy for Downton Abbey: The Crawleys







And here are the runner-ups for the Downton Abbey sampler. I should give it a proper name. :P
 
For the first time, I'm using Sullivan's cotton floss. I'm sure sampler threads with variations would look better! I wish I could use silks but cost is a factor.
 
The linen is 32 count Antique White linen.
 
I'm going to give it shot starting on this tonight. Right now, I have so many chores to do it's unreal.
I've certainly enjoyed being at home this week. Eating and sleeping till 10am and stitching.
My scarf for Mr. Darcy is stalled at how to change to another skein.
I royally (no pun intended) messed that up and had to frog out alot to get back to the normal part.
I hope to work on that soon as well.
I'm still learning humbly with this knitting!
 
I picked up before Christmas some yarn for a pink scarf for a friend at work. She requested this particular color. I got it back out last night and started it. I cast on 36 and while watching the Waltons, got off a bit but was able to find the error and correct it.
 
It's Lion's Pride Mixed Berries. She will love it as pink is her favorite color too.

 
This is smaller yarn that the other scarf and I'm using # 10 metal needles. I do believe I like wood much better.
 
As for the sampler I'm working on tonight,
 
The name of it will be
 
Downton Abbey: The Crawleys
 
"I'm an American. I don't share your English hatred of comfort." –Cora

"We've dreamed a dream, my dear, but now it is over. The world was in a dream before the war but now it's woken up and said goodbye to it. And so must we." –Robert

"Sometimes it feels as if all the men I ever danced with are dead." –Sybil

"Dear Lord, I don't pretend to have much credit with you. I'm not even sure that you're there. But if you are, and if I've ever done anything good, I beg you to keep him safe." –Mary

"I can assure you, at this stage, there isn't much that puts me off." –Edith    

"No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else's house."  Violet

This is a few of my favorite statements from them.  Many, many others as I look at the episodes over and over on DVD.  I can't wait until next week!!!!

I've been finishing up the design and a copy will go out, along with threads and linen to Jolene, the Christmas giveaway linen! I think I could work on it forever and find a few places to add/ take away, play with, etc.

Stay tuned,
Jennifer

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The winner of the Giveaway and the anniversary of a magical moment




  JOLENE # 23 comment

Oh, how fun! I have been looking far and near for these sweet little scissors. I would love a chance at receiving your Faith, Hope and Love Giveaway! Also, I love the angel frame, it would look fabulous with whatever you choose to display in it. Happy Holidays!
 
Yay! Jolene! You will also get a chart from me on Downton Abbey with the threads and linen.
and a surprise too.
 
I will be mailing this out probably next Monday or Tuesday because this week is full of obligations and places to be.................but..............congrats and enjoy!
 
 
 
 
I wish I could have given 5 or 6 out at least but financially tied down at the moment. But, I will give you my love and attention anytime. I welcome emails and questions on the blog. I should answer a few here I've gotten:
 
Why does Mr. Darcy have another last name? 
 
Mr. Darcy is his nickname for the blog due to privacy issues. The Mr. Darcy is from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. When reference to Mr. Darcy in my blog, this is my husband.
 
Do you quilt?
 
no. I wish I did and I have pieced together a few things for Abbie to have a blanket but not a quilter. I am though a lover of fat quarters to back my cross stitching pieces, add to framing, or just to drool over on a cloudy day.
 
Are you a counselor?
 
no, I'm not a licensed counselor. I am a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Part time and have been for nearly 20 years now. This is how I work with women to heal hurts according to my bio profile. In my role as a nurse practitioner specializing in women's health, I do have instances for one on one counseling/ education as indicated by the problem but not a licensed counselor. I work in a private practice setting and do enjoy part time work with my analyical side of the brain which is balanced nicely with the creative side at home and doing stitching work.
 
How old is Abbie and what kind of dog is she?
 
Abigail Rennee Fox is 3 years old. She is a long-haired white chihauhau with brindle markings.
She is the most loving creature I've ever had and I love dogs! Her middle name is Rennee in memory of my chihauhaua who passed away in July 2 years ago. His name was Ren and he was 17 years old.
 
 
Are you of Irish descent?
 
yes, part Irish, part Indian, but I got more of the Irish features than my brother. And yes, I love Gone With the Wind, Scarlet OHara!!!!  :P
 
Do you do your own framing or have it professionally done?
 
I have always done my own framing because of lower costs with exception of Quaker Christmas because it is so large and I spent 9 months vigorously finishing that piece. I had protective glass put over it so it will not fade over the years. I hope one day my children will appreciate the value of needleart and care for it. If not, my stitching will be donated to the local women's shelter when I'm gone.
 
How long have you been designing?
 
Only about 2-3 years, did I try to express my thoughts of sampler making to paper. I find it extremely satisfying and have designed many many samplers and I frequently put a few on the blog to pay it forward and especially in this economy when buying patterns has become so expensive.
 
Do you plan to ever sell any samplers?
 
Yes. I've had many obstacles to overturn in the past 2 years to get where I can but I have a faithful partner who is supporting my goals to one day put them up for sale. When I do, I plan to  have both PDF format by email and also mailed paper copies. The mailed copies will be simple for several reasons 1) I try to keep it simple 2) the cost to you is a fraction of the glossy expensive patterns 3) you get the same results with simple patterns. I have a Craftsy.com account and will probably start here with selling in the next few months. My hold-up is churning out the models for the pattern myself and I cannot afford a model stitcher now. But everything will happen in its own time............
 
 
 
Home is where the heart is and my heart is at home. I try to keep it simple, loving and a safe haven.
 
I've also had many thoughtful readers who just write me and it's truly a blessing. I'm going to change my email soon and put it on the blog as I have had some real doozies of spam to my personal one. At least I can weed those out.
 
Feathers in the Nest is my happy place. It's a place I come to, to share books, stitching, junkin, knitting, homesteading and designs with you. I hope to continue in the next year, 2013, and that in some way it helps you feel right at home, warm and cozy, and a place to chat about homesteading or whatever warms your heart.
 
Home has not always been a happy place for me unfortnately, but by the grace of God and answer to prayers, he has definitely changed that in 2012 and my wish even when I was a little girl of having a loving husband and home have come true. I know all this could not have happened without divine intervention and I thank Him for it every single day. I thank Him for continuing to protect me from those that have put me in harm's way for whatever sick reasons.
 
I hope you have a great evening. The day has really zipped by. The decorations will all be put away tonight and the house ready to receive some of Mr. Darcy's furniture and ideas to make the basement better living space.
And that, my friends, will include a sewing space!!!!
 
 
 
 
 AND
 
 
ON DECEMBER 26th, 2012
 
a love story began with friendship................................
 
 
the only words to describe is:
 
life-changing
healthy love
Christian love
equally yoked
both musc lovers
both instrument players
both value home at the heart
both with God as the foundation
both with being raised only 25 miles apart (unknowingly)
he played football at an Augusta team in highschool, against my brother (unknowingly)
the first true gentleman I ever met
both lover of animals
he loves to minister to congregations through lay speaker
she loves to write
both love to dance
both love the same foods! (ok well except olives)
both have a creative side to nurture, he with woodworking and designing
me with stitching and designing.
we play a good game of Chinese checkers or two!!!!!
we always go to bed together at the same time and hold hands until we fall asleep
we have similar dreams and ambitions in life
that collided a year ago
through divine intervention and prayer by both
on 2 sides of the world
which turned into a beautiful marriage on November 20, 2012~~~~~~
 
A story. that I one day, will write as a book for testimony that God works in His own time and for our own benefit He will teach us patience, how to lean on Him, and that love never fails.
 
Yes, Dec 26 is a special day.  2 people, 7000 miles away, met and in 5 months, sent over 4000 letters to and from with phone calls many times a day, singing, praying together over the phone and just forming a strong bond.  That my friends is the best blessing I couldn't ever had imagined this year or even in a lifetime.
 
Sent to me at a time, a critical time, when God saw fit to continue His work through to others.
 
December 26, 2012
 
And this all started in a small country church, alone, in the North Ga. mountains, pouring out my heart to God for answers, for protection, for real love.
 
So remember no day is insignificant. Remember this every day, that something in one moment could change your life forever for the best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!



Here's hoping that all kind readers of this blog have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!!!!
 
 
The Fox homestead is cozy this morning. We opened gifts, Mr. Darcy and I together cooked French Toast and bacon, cleaned it up and now reading by the wood stove. As he is a early to rise person ( not me...LOL) he had been up early, early and built a fire in the woodstove to make it nice a cozy with coffee morning for me.
 
I had many Christmas blessings this year. My parents came by to see me for a few minutes and that just made my Christmas bright. My dad brought some fat lighter for the new stove which I so dearly needed, in fact, I was about to go out to Walmart to get some starter pieces when he came by.  A very surprise indeed. Wish they could have stayed for Christmas Eve dinner as I had just pulled out of the oven a Dutch Apple Pie and had a beef roast and veggies ready for the Christmas plates but they had to go. My mama wanted to stay so bad.
 
My mama gave me a beautiful necklace that I wore perfectly to match a sweater dress last night for Mr. Darcy at dinner. And this morning Mr. Darcy gave me some beautiful Country Outfitter brown leather boots and a diamond necklace that has a heart within a heart. He said he specifically looked for a heart within a heart for the symbolic meaning. I thought that was so sweet.
 
Abbie got some new treats, a mat for dinner with her name on it, and extra love.
 
Mr. Darcy got a personalized football coffee mug for travel and at home, and a silver pocket watch with his initials on it and the inside says "I'll always have time for you Love, Jennifer Ann Fox"
 
We are looking forward this week of redesigning the basement level to include his Presidential desk which is HUGE and painting and such. I've curtains to make and just getting the area clean again without toys and clutter, the place looks s different. Pictures to follow this next week as we transform all the spaces. I will have a space just for sewing and also room for stitching friends to visit Fox mountain in the future. I'm really excited!
 
Thank you to all who participated in the Faith Hope and Love Giveaway!!!
I will be drawing a name soon and letting you know the winner!!!
 
 
Peace to You
 
designed by Feathers in the Nest
copyright 2010
 
Here's an old design that I made a couple of years ago about this time of year, looking for peace in the year 2013!
 
I made a HUGE boo-boo with my knitting and had to frogg out after trying to change to a new ball of yarn. I will be going to a yarn store tomorrow to get back on track. I'm halfway done with Mr. Darcy's scarf. I'll take pics soon when I get this back on track!!!!!
 
In the mean time, I may finish Mr. Abe Lincoln in cross stitch.
 
Back to my cuppa,
Jennifer

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Soldiers' Angels Germany: All Sewing / Knitting Projects

Soldiers' Angels Germany: All Sewing / Knitting Projects: Blankets of Hope . Blankets (no lap robes or knitted items, please) are always needed both in Germany and at the Combat Support Hospitals. ...st

Just sharing with all the stitchers out there. Those who quilt, sew, knit, crochet. I am a lifetime member of Soldier's Angels. They have many ways you can help, even if you don't do crafts you can adopt a soldier that has no family ( and believe me there are) and send letters randomly to them for encouragement, for just paying it forward.

I have always had a special interest in this group. I joined the year my son Brandon went to Afghanistan. He never responded to anything I sent but I still sent encouraging letters and packages. This was his choice to make and I still dont' know who or if they were sent out to others or helped him, but this I know for sure, I didn't realize how many soldier's had NO ONE to encourage them while deployed until I went to the welcome home ceremony and also speaking with the chaplain. I decided the next year to join this, to continue sending and realized that I may not hear a thing from the soldier my mentor connected me with, but I still continued to send and write.  I hope it made a difference. To this day, I never heard from that soldier as well. That was the end of 2011.

Then in 2012, the day after Christmas, I met for the first time a "retired soldier, a First Sarg. Major"
who changed my life all for the better. He had been retired after 25 years. Our story turned to a love story as you know. While he was over in Afghanistan for 5 months, we wrote over 4000 letters back and forth.  God rewarded me with a very, honest caring man of which I had not known my entire life.

This year for 2013, I will continue on, even though times will be tightest of tight in finances, it's my pay if forward for the military has touched me in many ways.

In reflection I can remember the day my son brought a recruiter to the house and I totally went ballistic as (per the chaplain) most all moms do over their sons joining because its a natural instinct to protect our sons and daughters. However, from the pinning ceremony, the pure pride I felt for my son to do what he wanted to and also help our country, to see his happiness in whatever he did, no matter how nervous it made me, convinced me to let go.

I don't know exactly how I will help Sodier's Angels this year but I know that 2013 proposes a new "adopted soldier" for me. My heart is leaning towards making things for the soldiers in Germany hospital. I don't know if that is what God is leading me to do but I do feel it.

I wanted to share this on my blog for one reason:  there are over 700 readers here and it's a good way
to share volunteer opportunities to help. For the spirit of Christmas, we should keep in our hearts all the year long, per Charles Dickens and this is one way to do it.

Sending love even if the person doesn't want it, is not a wrong thing because one day, the person who doesn't want to receive love will realize through some life experience, that this is what life is all about. There are many people who can send love but not as many to receive and recipricate.That takes an open heart with truth. In this program, working for the greater good of our country without expecting anything in return is the kind of fiber, I want in my design, that I call me.

I place my heart on scripture that says that the truth will set us free. This world needs alot of communication and sharing, understanding and caring if we only would open our hearts. Sometimes it's really hard to do. No one of us is perfect but I pray this year that hearts are opened, truth be known, and sharing gifts to those in need.

http://soldiersangelsgermany.blogspot.com/p/all-sewing-knitting-projects.html
Thanking soldiers forever,
Jennifer

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